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for Marianne Boruch

By a Chicago lake, in a Chicago summer,

1962 or 63, and she twelve or thirteen,

I think, she’d only said that she was young,

she spent the summer with a group of girls,

sleeping in tents, studying

different kinds of pines—

White Pine, for example, five needles

in each bundle, one needle

for each letter in its name—

and from June to September, she said, they kept

the same fire going, each girl learning

when it needed dry wood or green wood—

no one could leave that spot by the lake for long.

She would understand

how my friends and I carried the man we found

together, the forty pounds of him

inside the white bag the sheriff brought,

the white of the bag showing the way

through the dark. And the mountains,

the thin grass in the desert

like hair that had fallen out

and then like grass, Border Patrol trucks

on the far side of the mountains,

their light coming to meet his light.

from RestFind more by Margaree Little at the library

Copyright © 2018 Margaree Little
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Margaree Little Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.