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ISSUE:  Summer 1978

You’re told don’t wake the baby.
She’s sweating in her scalloped hat.
Just because you’re thirteen
doesn’t mean you don’t hate.
Every time the kid stirs
you become a weapon. Summer:
hornet nest in the columbine,
plastic fruit on a plate.
Aunt Rachel has pastel blue eyes.
She no longer speaks to mother,
but that comes later. Meanwhile the kid
looks like a ceramic dish you once smashed.
In a couple of years you’ll escape the house
and this death. Summer:
the foxglove fails to yield
its digitalis. Promise to love
your brother although he’s a liar.
Girls sit on hot macadam, stretching
like wicker furniture. The baby
will be humiliated by age twelve.
Last year, try to remember,
you discovered you were ugly.
The yellow oxalis flowers quivered
when you cried. Inside your ears
the sleepwalker crept to the edge.
Saw you kill a little girl.


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