when leanne was pregnant with our second child,
before the lumps on her neck and everywhere else and
before the dirty mri and before
before the winter with too much cold
leanne went out and bought one thing
for the baby, a pair of these:
she put them in the closet or down in the basement
with all of lydia’s old baby clothes, just waiting
for life to happen.
but a different kind of life happened,
and they took the baby out.
some people don’t have the energy
to get out of bed during chemo,
but somehow leanne had the ability
to find them and put them in a box
and send them to our friend out in baltimore
who had just given birth to a daughter of her own,
and along with it, she slipped in a card that said:
“every girl needs a pair of red boots”.
and that was that.
a few days ago there was a box on the porch.
it was from leanne’s friend in baltimore.
inside were the boots and a card that read:
“i think you said that every girl needed a pair of red boots”
two weeks ago the phone rang.
i was away teaching. it was rena’s birthmom.
she said she was homeless
and could we give her some money,
could she stay at our house?
leanne called the agency
and the owner picked up tina.
the owner said she spent the two hours driving
her to wherever she needed to go to remind her of a few things.
tina, listen to me and listen to me good, she said,
daniel and leanne adopted rena……not you.
still, it was hard for me to not open our door to her.
after all, she had given us her baby.
and to complicate things more, we still hadn’t had our court date.
technically, rena still wasn’t ours.
tomorrow is the court date.
we got a call tonight that tina won’t go.
she doesn’t want the baby back,
she just doesn’t want to get arrested.
and so we wait
or we ask people in her family to turn her in
or we do nothing
or we sit on the purple couch
and slip the red boots on rena’s feet.
then the other.