When spring came that year, we joined hands
in a ring-a-rosy dervish; I
giggling, you wondering how.
I only notice now, from your Kodak blush,
that the push of the crowd made you cower
as you thrust your pigtailed prettiness before you:
gold, like Maccabee's shield.
We played pat-a-cake in the summer,
cross-legged on concrete like beggars.
You envied me my knees
free of daubed mercurochrome;
my home, too poor for even a coat of dust,
but just a pocket full of seeds,
not a coffin of secrets.
I saw you flinch and twist
as your wrist cracked under his hand.
Leaves fell without pause
and you did not break their silence,
The autumn and I awoke
to you: broken in the first snow,
golden eagles spread saintly
about your head.