(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
Table Of Contents
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Michelle Boisseau

It was Mrs. Garvin, the doctor's wife, who told my mother, Well, if you're that broke, put the kids up for adoption. Out under the porch light that summer, we slapped at mosquitoes and invented our brave escape--luminous sheets knotted out the window were the lines of a highway down the house. We would know the way, like ingenious animals, to go quietly toward the river, but we could imagine no further than the shacks on stilts shivering the water, the Kentucky hills on the other side. Denise, the youngest, took to sleepwalking, wading room to room for the place one of us--curled up in a bed's corner-- might have left her. I'd wake to her face pressed against my back, her hands reining the edges of my nightgown. I didn't tuck her into my shoulder but loosened her fingers and led her back to her own bed, her fear already seeping into me like water or like the light spilling from the milk truck as it backfired down the street.

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