Wednesday, December 20, 2006

#241: December 20, 2006

Mary was six, and I was eight years old.
We rode the bus together every day,
and chased and tagged until the grass went gray
with dusk in my backyard. Seemed every cold
I had, Mary caught too: small nose rubbed raw,
she'd laugh at my dry cough and feel my cheek
for fever--unaware I couldn't speak
through shivers her fingers sent through my jaw.

The day she moved away I ran across
the road between our houses, my bare feet
cooked red by asphalt. I stared at the sky
while she tugged at her dress, damp with the heat.
The idling moving van said our goodbye
while we two learned the language of our loss.

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