The House Rules

He stands at the doorway
Clutching his little suitcase
Holding his earthly belongings
The social worker
Quickly introduces the little boy
To his foster parents
All the while wondering
Where was his mother
The strange white people
Take him to his room
And tell him the house rules
Slowly he starts to adjust
Biding his time
While waiting for his mother
To take him home
He cries in his pillow every night
12 years go by
And he still waits patiently…
Mom saw him now and then
A couple of times
He packed his suitcase
Mom was coming to get him
But…never showed up
She got sick again
Mom went to residential school
And was tormented ever since
By bad dreams and screams
Only alcohol could dull such pains
Son sits and waits for mom
In a prison cell
She promises to come visit
But never does…
She always says: I love you son
And no doubt probably does
I’ll be out of treatment
Same time you’re out of custody
I’ll find a place for us
We can start again, its not too late,
Is it son?
No mother its not,
I’ve waited a lifetime for this day
My love for you has not changed
Together we can take back the night
I’ll pack my suitcase…

Charles has been a social activist for 35 years. He can be reached at : Read other articles by Charles.