When I was young I chose escape
pinkie promises discarded on block’s boundary.
Across the highway of metal mayhem
it’s almost quiet except for
The playing card
Singing hymns to the spokes of my antique bike
Sticky-sap needles cling to virginal soles
to enter through white Pearly Gates
under pungent summer pine.
Bright weeds nod with
Hosanna to a strange child in a strange place
Strips from bleach worn Sunday’s best
And brasso and elbow grease and determination
reveal lives stopped short.
Psalms for small forgotten bodies
Death lingers on cut grass
I am numb and I
work to rub the filth away.
Do not cry
Do not feel
Do not tell
Canticle for lives shorter than my 8, just as tragic
Unsure who is crueler
nature or time.
They went to lead another life
leaving us behind