(Clapton's "Cocaine" blares
its lullaby in background)
In a roach-infested kitchen,
on a greasy counter top,
shrieks a toddler in a rocker seat
nearby the rancid mop.
"Oh, Jane, stop squawlin', sweetie,"
(Writhing on the counter top)
"Ma's textin' for her helpers now,"
(they'll "help her" till she drops.)
With their anguish unrelenting,
child and mother flail and pace.
A life arranged by drugs and drops
is etched upon each face.
"Just how long does it take
to score some freakin'coke'n meth?!"
"Oh, God, he's cut me off I bet!"
(the thought scares her to death.)
At last, Mom's prayer is answered:
She bolts toward the ringing bell.
"Okay, hold on, I’m comin'! "
(At the “in’” the cradle fell.)
(The pace changes...)
The peaceful babe lay broken
on the sticky, stone-cold floor.
Encrusted Loves and curdled milk
could torture Jane no more.
Twelve "peers" find TOT-MOM GUILTY!
The Old Prison’s her new home.
Life doles out food for thought, too,
as she paces, now alone.
On tip-toes from her sterile cube,
Mom scans the prison yard:
Through swollen eyes,
each night she spies
Sweet Jane there—standing guard.
Clare Toohey reads "Rock-a-bye, Baby":
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Tonia confesses: "Beyond the theme of Demon Drugs, I want the 'twist ending' to be thought provoking: Is Jane an angelic testimony to Forgiveness? Is she a spirit there to haunt?
Is she simply an hallucination caused by guilt, drugs, and/or madness?"
Aerobic Poetry: Critter Connections Collection, features humorous, rhythmic poems meant to be read aloud to help lower blood pressure and improve lung function. She has also published poetry in The Litchfield Review, Common Threads, and The Senior Years. She lives with her devoted husband of many years on the "North Shore," (Lake Erie,) and has two wonderful sons and a lovely granddaughter.