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For the Good Children

ISSUE:  Summer 1985

This is a special park
fenced only in trees
reserved for the very good
who are not heard or seen,

who play at hide and seek
(so innocent, they hide
behind shut eyes
and never peek),

and never wander off
to lose themselves in woods
or tease the river witch.
They are so good

who never cry or whine
or want. For toys—
blocks of stone, lambs
that make no noise,

and dolls with wings
to fan their dreams who nap
beneath their names
and “Gone to Sleep,”

as if it were a place
across a yard at dusk
from which a mother’s call
could start them back.

Beneath the oak, cross-
legged, the women sit,
and softly talk,
and knit.

They wait with a stony
patience—not granted men,
from darkness to sunlight
to darkness again.


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