Saturday, December 13, 2014


I drop Fiona at the edge of school,
joyful and humming with Sudafed and ibuprofen,
wearing parts of a kindergarten costume which still fit:

eye patch and vest, bandana and floppy hat,
cobbled together for this event she’s awaited
three years now, nearly a third of her life:
fifth graders celebrating Talk like a Pirate Day.

She dashes to join friends swirling in homage
to lives filled with derring-do and scurvy,
pillage and brutal early death,

though don’t we all dance likewise against fears,
taming the horror with humors,
and this on the heels of lessons
about kachinas and sacred clowns –

a sideswipe of memory: her sister, Kirsten,
enthralled with all celebration, public or private,
how she would have danced at that final drum circle,

her hair lifting in riverwind, all of us
smiling through tears while my little pirate
skips off toward that implacable shore:
bon voyage, me beauty, bon voyage.

~ George M. Perreault, Reno NV

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