He made it at day care, the drawing
of the family going camping.

This was before his father slammed
the door in the face of the hapless social worker.

In the van could be seen three heads, three circles:
his brother's, his father's, his own.

He hadn't really wanted to go camping.
This was after his mother disappeared

but before his father fell
under suspicion, before the house caught fire.

He and his brother didn't want to see their father,
or so their grandparents told the authorities,

after. But this was before
his brother smelled the gasoline,

before the explosion, before the hatchet
marks on their two dead necks. When the teacher asked him

where was his mother in the drawing, he told her,
"Mommy's in the trunk." This was before

they buried her in the he's not saying
where, his father would kill him, but already

after everybody stopped listening.