We sat at your table for morning coffee,
swapping mother stories. A friend, a neighbor;
and now I can't make sense of front page news:
Murder? Robbery? Drugs? What on earth happened?

It was only a few years ago your son mowed our lawn.
Now almost unrecognized, your tattooed face stares out,
sullen and cold. Who is this woman? Who were you then?
My stomach churns at the face of so much evil.

I write to you. It is the same girl I knew then
who answers, drug free after weeks in jail,
back on medication for the mental illness
which, even then, lurked in the shadows.

And now two years later you have bargained
your testimony against him for a sentence of eleven years.
They say, "What is this world coming to."
But quietly, knowing my own sin,
I am older today than yesterday.

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