Madison County

An eleven year old hops the steps

up to the trailer they live in.

The door clangs shut, as the frame is warped.

Poverty-stricken Tennessee, United States.

 

An eleven year old in jeans and a hoodie

runs out into the bitter cold.

They just got screamed at by their mom's boyfriend-

an aleven year old silently celebrates not being hit this time.

An eleven year old is hungry

and hoping their cousins are about to eat lunch.

An eleven year old heads to their uncle's railer, 

a few minutes' walk away.

 

An eleven year old goes to school,

anxious and high-strung.

They lie when their teacher asks

  what's wrong,

blaming a  fear of dress code violation.

An eleven year old rides the bus home,

dreading their stop.

A cycle of misery understood at eleven years of age.

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