Kith Nor Kin / Foster Care Preparedness Assessment

Preparedness for milk pooled on the linoleum,
the dog doing her work. For kid sneakers,
how they always separate between
the rubber sole and porous upper. Preparedness
for night terrors and years of night terrors.
For explaining kin wrong, blood wrong, mother
wrong, then explaining them again.
For the wriggling doubt: I’m sort of kith,
I said to the sky as I walked the fence one night.
Here it is, said the sky, pointing to the kicked-in
rotted plank. Sort of kin, I replied, not that
kin’s enough. And saying it brought me
to the ground. And I knew it was true,
like an ankle twist in silt bringing a body down.

Rebecca Morton received an MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, RHINO, The Cincinnati Review, Storm Cellar, Hummingbird: Magazine of the Short Poem, Pacifica Literary Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. Rebecca is currently working on a collection of poems about her family’s experience in the foster care system. She lives in Seattle with her wife and children.