Ron Yazinski

The Care Givers

To get from my car to my mother’s house,
I have to step over the chalked body outline of a young girl.
She and her little brother are preparing for adulthood
By tracing each other on the concrete.
I am careful not to smear the chalk
And sit down on the porch next to my mother
Who’s watching, rolling her eyes.
On the neighbor’s porch is the grandmother of these children,
Red-faced and smoking, flicking the butt of her cigarette
Into the grass where months of others lie.
In the distance, black clouds announce their approach
With a crack of thunder.
“Get in here now,” the red-faced woman coughs.
At first the young girl ignores her,
Working her way around her brother’s hand,
Then adding the artistic license of a dropped gun.
“I said now.”
“I will when I’m finished, you old bitch.”
The girl snaps back,
As the first drops splatter on the sidewalk.
“You wouldn’t talk like that if your grandfather was here.”
“Well, call his prison cell
“And tell him he can beat me again
“In three years when he gets out.”
The rain falls more steadily,
As the grandmother tries another approach.
“You’ll get sick out there.
“Besides the rain will wash away anything you do”
The girl stands up straight and helps her little brother off the ground,
Who runs past his grandmother as the lightning flashes.
The young girl smashes her chalk on the sidewalk,
“Only a mean old bitch would say something like that.”



The Lost Princess

Going to his car, he meets two volunteer firemen
Who ask if he saw a runaway teenager from the neighborhood,
Who, high on drugs, banged out of her mother’s house
And ran screaming like a banshee into the woods.
“Her mother’s concerned,” the thinner one said,
“That she’ll fall and hit her head
“And freeze to death when the sun goes down.”
But today he was in a foul mood
With the young women in his own life.
“The world is filled with lost Princesses.
“How will you know you found the right one?
“Do you know the type of tiara she’s wearing?
“If she’s like the rest, she probably lost her glass slippers in 
“Some Prince Charming’s pick-up last night;
“Which is too bad, because you could have used
“One of them to identify her.”
“Mister, we’re just volunteers, not relatives.
“We were told she had a grey sweat shirt on.
“You must be thinking of somebody else.”



Ron is a retired English teacher who lives in Pennsylvania.