I call them the lost boys, homeless,
unfocused, empty of purpose,
moving through the days aimlessly,
like spilled water rolling off a table
drops to the floor to form a pool,
idle, waiting for motivation.
He sits alone, his backpack stained,
threadbare jeans torn at the knees,
no socks, no jacket, lifeless eyes.
The day is cold, the wall hard.
Still he sits, unmoving and silent.
The next day he is there again,
and the next one after that,
same position, silent and unmoving.
Another day I see him sitting under a tree
at the edge of the forest near town.
His head bowed, his shoulders hunched,
he sits in the leaves, unmoving and silent.
Sometimes he’s at the skate park
watching the boys race up the ramps
and fly off the walls, crowing in triumph.
They tell me his name is Carson,
but he never joins in, only sits silent,
unmoving on the wall, never smiling.
In the weeks that follow I find myself
wondering where he sleeps,
wondering if he has money or family.
The mother’s heart within me aches,
yearns to reach out and speak to him.
I fill a box with canned meats and fruits,
peanuts, bottles of juice and water,
granola bars, a can opener and a spoon.
Tucked under a blanket I place a jacket and a hat.
Then, mustering my courage, I go to the forest
and leave the box under a big tree
where I last saw him, lost in the leaves.
The next day the box is gone.
JHG Journal 2/16/18