from “Red, Requiem”

Robin

I’m a kid, I’m a
kid, I’m a little
kid.  & I play & I
play in my little
way.  Pat-a-cake, pat-a-
cake.  I see a saw.  Slide
the hide.  Go round
the merry.  Yum,
candy! The balloon
I lost on my birthday— is this
it?  I want to play
with a big
& cuddly thing.

Path of needles, or path
of pins?  I’d have to be very
careful with this needle & not
run anymore.  I could run
really fast with a boot like
that.  Or at least
pretend to.  Wild games
are best, running &
jumping & riding
riding, riding.

I ride the shopping
cart through the woods or
down the wooden
stairs or rocks, I rock
the cart & sing.  Buy me now
at discount prices! Topple
in dust & dirty
dirty dirt.

If wolves are like
dogs, then.  A cloud howling
to the moon, a wolf
singing, a singing
wolf.  A young dead
bird.  Not me.  Not
me.

Dig in the dirt in the deep
dark woods.  Dirty nails, grave-
scratching headstones & headless
angel, hands out, hello.  We put
people in the ground &
flowers.  Dear
Lord, make heaven be
a fun place.  Amen.

Play surprise, the best wild
game:  ride.  Run & jump
on back & ride, how
soft his ears, what high
swing & belly
tickle.  Fists full
of fur & we all fall.

Fall.  Footing, slipped
slipped my hood right
off, right off my
head.  My head slipped
right off.  Room full of birthday
cake & balloons, window full
of moon.  A baby’s bed, a bloody
bed, an empty
grave, open.

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