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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1617762-The-Girl-on-the-Chemical-Tether
Rated: E · Poetry · Family · #1617762
A foster child who is called Lumpfish by social workers.
If the foster kid
were a fish
she would be a Lumpfish.

That’s what the social workers
call her already.

The Lumpfish does not
swim in a school.
She dropped out
in ninth grade.
Lumpfish is a
bottom feeder,
a solitary creature.

But every now and then
the Lumpfish surfaces
to release air.
She lets go
a prodigious belch
and for a moment
we remember visiting Taco Bell.

Lumpfish laughs loudly,
having momentarily
captured everyone’s attention.

People leave the room.

The terminology is
“throw away kid.”
Discarded by parents,
and everyone else,
she finds pleasure in
driving people away.

But not really.

No wonder she sleeps
fifteen hours a day.




The foster mom wakes her,
gives her medication
to help her sleep,
keeps her calm,
gives her gas.

Doctors call
her trembling
(when she’s awake)
an unfortunate side effect…
an inconvenient price to pay.

They don’t say
why she must pay
or for what she is paying.

Apparently for tranquility.
Or to keep her from killing herself
or others.

Maybe she’s paying
for a wicked past life.
Perhaps the sins of her parents
rested on her shoulders.

Maybe it’s because
she just drew
bad cards.

Whatever.

The social workers laugh
and call her Lumpfish.
Sometimes they just refer to her
as The Lump.

But when they
write a report,
and put on their professional hats
they call her
Jennifer.

They write a report
twice each year.

© Copyright 2009 Reluctant Pilgrim (jpahz at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1617762-The-Girl-on-the-Chemical-Tether