February, 23 Florida


It's two days before my day of birth, 
and my mother just shared a cute picture
of me at three. I'm wearing a little boy's 
business suit that would be popular today. The other picture she chose was one from 
my adolescent era – strange hair, oily skin, and awkward. 

The picture reminded me of a student – 
A tall lanky boy, fourteen, with the brightest
bluest eyes I've ever seen. 

His mother left him on a stranger's doorstep
before Christmas. 
Two weeks ago the woman, the stranger, set him
free in the care of a school social worker – "he's too expensive." 

How is a boy like that supposed to make it? 

I can see him in the back seat of the state-owned sedan, 
his azure eyes searching the scorched winter landscape, 
and I feel the heaviness in his narrow chest, the petulant anxiety
 in his naïve mind. His light eyes close;
	the image behind them a vacant 
idea of future.

Kyle Doty

Kyle Doty is a 7th grade ELA teacher and poet. His debut book of poetry, Hush, Don't Tell Nobody, was published in early 2015 by Apprentice House. You can learn more about him at kyledotypoetry.wordpress.com

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