I came across this poem years ago in an anthology called; The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry edited by Alan Kaufman and published by Thunder’s Mouth Press NY. The book by no means the be all end all , nor does it claim to be but what it is, is a treasure trove of true Americana. Below is Ai’s poem with links to info regarding her. Here is a link regarding The Outlaw Bible – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Outlaw_Bible_of_American_Poetry
Ai, “The Kid” from Vice: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1999 by Ai. Reprinted with the permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. This selection may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher. www.nortonpoets.com.
Source: Vice: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1999)
“My writing of dramatic monologues was a happy accident, because I took so much to heart the opinion of my first poetry teacher, Richard Shelton, the fact that the first person voice was always the stronger voice to use when writing. What began as an experiment in that voice became the only voice in which I wrote for about twenty years. Lately, though, I’ve been writing poems and short stories using the second person, without, it seems to me, any diminution in the power of my work. Still, I feel that the dramatic monologue was the form in which I was born to write and I love it as passionately, or perhaps more passionately, than I have ever loved a man.”