Friday, July 3, 2015

Day 27: There will be one

Warning: this poem is incredibly sad.  I'm having a hard time writing it, because I have so many emotions about this issue, and because I am bound by confidentiality and cannot write the story.

My job is hard sometimes.  As I say here, there is always one that stays with you.  No matter what type of "helper" you talk to (psychologist, doctor, social worker, nurse...), they will have their one case that stays with them.  There are many that stay with you, of course, but there's always that one, above the rest.

My one was an itty bitty - a two year old - that I saw three years ago.  I have never worked as hard as I did on this child's case.  It is as complicated and terrible as you can imagine and, in spite of all of my very best efforts, what I did was not enough.  Nothing could have been enough.  There was not really an enough.  

I got a phone call this week, re-opening and revisiting this case.  I don't know all of the details, but it's not good.  Three years later, this baby is still suffering - and there still is not an enough that can be done for her.  

There will be one

There are many you cannot save.
My heart is full of faces that disappeared:
faces whose stories will never have an ending,
hands that mine will never reach.

Most faces fade with time -
are replaced with new eyes,
new hearts, new hands,
the door is revolving:
new hearts in,
some hearts out,
with your heart pushing it around.

But there is always one.
The one whose face never fades
who haunts your dreams
whose eyes and hands come to you 
as you innumerate your failures
there is always one
that stands above the rest:
the one that will not leave,
no matter the miles you run,
the happy hours you drink through
the yoga classes that remind you to breathe,
there will be one 
who will always stay.

There will be one that will make you talk
to a god you don't believe in.
There will be one
whose name will make your heart skip a beat,
there will be one
whose name you scan for in newspaper headlines,
in obituaries,
you will hold your breath
at Amber alerts
at radio stories,
waiting for her name.
There will be one that,
three years later
when you get the call,
the subpoena,
the voicemails from authorities,
you will be unsurprised
and devastated anyway.

There will always be one:
she was two years old
with white blonde hair,
big blue eyes,
fancy dresses.
She said 'bless you' when I sneezed.
She loved Oreo cookies.
I watched her dry her mother's tears. 

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