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By Anita Jay Durkin
Her pudgy fingers clutching rough wood posts
three shades darker than her brown ring curls,
she peers over the fence with enormous eyes,
tilting her head and skewing her smile.
She is standing on an overturned crate she found
empty in the chicken coop, the coop itself
empty, and now the box becomes
the several inches more she needs to peer
beyond the gate, her bird bone body
smaller than her age suggests.
Wearing the white dress Mama made
before Pa came, she knows it won't
be long before she wears again
the dress to poor man's church and cross.
For now, her fingers are adorned
with splinters she accepts with minor
flinches, the twitch of shoulders I can
see from on the sloping roof where
few white birds beat fragile wings, where
she might stand when I have gone and
climb or jump or fall back down.
© Copyright 2004, Anita J. Durkin, All Rights Reserved.
© Copyright 1997, 2020, The Fairfield Review Inc., All Rights Reserved.
Document last modified on: 09/28/2004