Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Mother, was that you?
And was I only 5 years old
when it happened?
Were you the woman
who abandoned me
at the Multnomah County Courthouse?
"I want to put this boy up for adoption."
And was it me who begged you
not to leave me?
Was that my rage swelling up
from my gut
and knotting in my tiny fists?
And is that quiver in my pen now
from fingering an old wound?
Is that dreamlike ache and rush of fear now
a bridge stretching back 25 years?
How was I to know you were crazy?
How was I to know
you were not responsible?
Did you know I hated you?
And when you finally got me back
I considered you a stranger?
And was that me 25 years later
that the Multnomah County Court
appointed your legal guardian?
And did you know
that I felt a tinge of revenge
for only a second?
Did you know that my rage
and knifed feelings were absent?
Did you know that as the deputy
guided you by the elbow
out of the courtroom
and to the psychiatric hospital
that all I felt was love
and sadness
like nothing I have known?

Copyright 2008 David Elsey