A toothy smile
like the yellowing sign of the dated Dairy Queen,
plaque bits collecting around the base
killing the grass,
the marquee proposes something profound
twisted words from the sale some summers ago
You were wearing that same top
the day the cat died on our bed
curled up in the clean laundry
little head fighting to surface,
a child in the car without a pillow,
a great battle we missed
while we watched America’s Funniest Home Videos
like green and gray toy soldiers
tossed in the Tinkertoy tin
The same top
the day the furniture
joined our conversation,
I had not meant to say
you were replaceable,
sea legs of anger
poor aim
Fireworks bought in the next state
A gunfight on the only road we had
A letter to you mother,
We are learning to settle