Family Meeting in the Principals Office- 4th grade

Mountain of papers on his desk

Knick knacks

A cat-a-day calendar

Memo’s on post its

His walls have pictures

Of himself as a young football player

Beaming at the camera

And awards

And diplomas

My grandmother is sitting

Along with the councilor

Someone puts their hand on my shoulder

Has someone died?

Grandma speaks first


The tone in her voice makes me nervous

“Your mother got behind the wheel

After too many drinks”

I fear for the worst

I see my mother, in a coma

A vegetable

Or a body in the morgue

“She wrapped her car around a tree

She spent the night in jail”

A person gets three strikes

They let you off with a warning


Thirty days in jail

But the third time,

You are unfit for society

And they send you away

For a second I think

This might be worse than if she had died

Am I going to hell?

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