The small pool beckoned
deadly edged and deckled blue.
soaked beneath the hose, the water
rising to meet our knees.
There was a scream, a slam, another
word from the adult world, hurled
over the flowerboxed window.
Inside, reflections of the sink had bounced
on the yellow ceiling and our hands
smudged with mud and dust,
had grabbed our handfuls,
as much gingerbread
as two nine-year-old fists could carry.
We splashed back into the cold hose water
of the blue pool. The heat everywhere
like light, like breath.
Your mother called us shits
slammed the back door
and cried for an hour
on her quilted bed, her hair
like branches and nests,
her eyes wild at the end of it
as if war had thrashed inside her bones.