nothing can be done

he was a good English teacher

encouraged me to write

when nobody else did

put my stuff in school papers

& he tried to talk to me

about life

what was happening at home

the place they fed me gave me a bed

ignored me best they could

& I knew nothing can be done

I’d experienced the care system

children’s homes foster parents

& those were worse than this

I tried to talk with him

best I could

but knew full well

if I told their secrets

cold systems of abuse

then only worse would happen

so I wrote my kid stories

gave him those instead

I’d noticed if you pretend to smile

after a while

adults will

leave you alone