The journey began with a white crib,
a cage, a case, a conveyance,
one April night in Cleveland when
the uncles carried the orphan Jennie in her crib
down the street to the aunt
waiting in a shawl at the door.
“Up to the left. It’s cold. What can I do?”
The brown-haired girl with glowing eyes, barely three,
wrapped her fat knuckles around the white dowels.
She would cling to those dowels, her only home,
peering out at the unfamiliar family,
her gaze sometimes peculiar with
her thoughts even then as she waited
for her father, Horace, to remarry.
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