I’d bind these shattered, scattered pieces with
ribbons from a maypole–or memories of maypoles,
which we never really had, which instead of we had

a deflated leather ball that no one really liked,
and swung from a chain, rebounding off our fists.
Our red fists: at the bell they had rebounded from

the old black chalkboard and Big Chief tablets,
from endless long divisions, which we deserted like
a mob of happy crows. That seems so long ago,

and so much simpler than this division of memories:
our promises sparked red, faith pulsing in each kiss,
all our knotted fears unwound beneath the moon’s caress;

unwound like ribbons loosed to end a maypole dance,
which we no longer dance because all we have left
are deflated leather souls and flailing, angry hands.

Big Chief tablets wait blank on ink-stained desks,
and the chalkboard asks what we don’t want told.
The bell is ringing, calling us in from recess.

August 2012 (revised Jan. 2013)



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