Edited by Barry Kitterman | Andrea Spofford | Amy Wright
Letter to Flint Parents
Kristie Betts Letter
Children should be tested as soon as possible
keep bright-eyed babies from sharp objects
while awash in corroded, concrete data
A level of 5-44 means your child has some exposure
yes folic acid, eschew shellfish, ensure
safeties until Flint waters flinch, but still
Some food will help keep lead from being stored in a child’s body
milk, oranges: but not juice, not cans of water mixed
concentrate on just calm, on keeping soft from sharp
Wash hands and toys often with soap and water.
take care, to take in, to parent, not parrot
then to hand the child the soft rubber duck
You can use unfiltered water for washing your hands or washing dishes.
gray expanse, lines mapping what lies beneath
surfacing of all fears, from gray faucet rumble
If you have to use unfiltered water, let run for five minutes.
slap the toy from the baby’s mouth, the wet yellow
leaded moment, leaden heart, led here and away.
Kristie Betts Letter’s work has been selected for Best American Small Fictions 2017, published in The Massachusetts Review, and will be featured at the PAMLA 2017 conference. KT literary represents her novel Snow and White.
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