THE RESTRAINING ORDER
We wait outside the courtroom
for the judge to rule in my favor
I can hardly stand
so we sit, on a wooden bench polished with stolen diapers,
sticky with the oil of cars repossessed and
imprinted with the sweat and salt
of countless bankrupt hands.
You break open the smuggled bag of chips and feed your teddy bear,
Before time runs out and we're caught.
I check the back exits
in case he shows up, and hope the guard with the bad hip
knows how to use a gun.
Suspended in this anteroom of linoleum and dust, bound
together in our distress,
We are granted a temporary reprieve.
I lean against your innocence.
Sarah reads "The Restraining Order":
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Sarah confesses: "After a long detour away, I recently started writing poetry again. I've purposely focused on the present in my poems, yet an intense memory of waiting on a bench outside a courtroom kept intruding. I finally decided I needed to explore that distant yet still-vivid memory and all that it encompassed. 'The Restraining Order' is my first-ever published poem, reminding me once again that good things often arise out of difficult circumstances."
SARAH STOCKTON is a published author and teacher, with training and work experience in spiritual direction, alcohol and drug counseling, and creativity coaching. She curates the website poetinmyheart.tumblr.com.