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April 1, 2012 vol 8 no 1

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Terri L. French


The Look

Our eyes locked for a moment before he looked away. What was it I saw? Defiance? Shame? A look I wasn't sure what to do with. We left the police station—my 15-year-old son, his step-father and I. The drive back to his father's house was mostly silent.

"Why would you steal, son?"

He just stared out the car's moon roof. He never stole again.

dark night
do we see
the same stars?

He doesn't look away, this teenage boy standing in the snow on the side of the road on New Year's Eve day, a black carry-on bag at his side. His blue eyes are misty. His nose is red. I am on a walk, trying to work off some holiday calories, when I meet him. He says he's just gotten out of jail and hitched a ride home to find his packed bag on the porch. We talk for awhile. He says he's going to do better and I give him a few dollars. He hugs my neck. Our eyes meet and hold, then I walk away.

new year's eve
the old look
in a new friend's eye




crane