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What Begins as a List of Things Lost to Him

Hands getting cold at night. Light flashing

through the chain-link fence on the bridge

over the dammed river from El Paso, sun getting low

in the West so the light comes fast between the shadows.

And Betty’s minestrone soup and Peter’s bread

in their house in Juárez, and outside in Juárez

the sound of dogs barking. And the evening, and the fish

the woman next door fries when Betty and I visit,

and the woman’s daughter, Selia, who is seventeen—

Age, is that lost? Lost, the idea of seventeen?—

Selia, who has two braids tied with different-colored

rubber bands, one red, one blue, her hair

dyed the soft red of carnations.

Lost, the feeling of shame, of shyness?

What about the feeling of being far from home?

And Betty’s hands on my hands in their yard at night,

and the sky in the morning above Selia’s street

like a field of lemon trees, just as pale, just as simple.

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.

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