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Three Girls Tossing Rings

ISSUE:  Spring 2012

Outside, the lawn slopes and billows under chestnut trees,
acres of pampered landscape floating in a limpid haze

that surrounds the house. Dressed in crinoline, white hose,
and flocks of ribbons, one of them tosses rings, the others

wait their turn behind the drapes of watered silk. A red ring
is thrown and misses, the yellow rims around the peg and stays.

No one keeps score. Their boredom is as natural as grass
and chestnut trees, or the dull advance of history from hill

to hill somewhere in the gray distances of Europe. A red ring,
a blue one, the arc the wrist makes in the throwing, the small feet

just so. Trenches hacked deep in the fields of another country,
holes where humans sleep in mud, will green over, the broken limbs

of trees will flower, and the young girls tossing rings after Mass,
after the family meal, will turn and stroll across the wide green lawn.


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