Maggie Queeney Progeny

In unsteady firelight, we studied the arabesque clouds animated

In the plates of the yellowing page to find the girl born blue, her eyes

Two closed lines, impersonal as print or fossils. Two lasted not a month

Each, like a dream, haunt in half-recall; the river-swallowed

Boy, his small body never found after the flood returned

To earth, to the ocean where we imagined him floating

Asleep among shining bait fish and sharks, shrouded in maroon, lacelike

Seaweed, salt-glittering. He returns in nightmare, serpentine

Current wriggling out of his mouth baptizing the floor. We caught

His mud-soft hands, offered buttermilk, lard-coated bread. Our losses

Part of a larger design, true, but the sky over us was always so blue

And empty and unbound, clouds shielding what heaven we knew

Of, darkening the tally of grave mounds, the shadow so swift we were forced

To stare at the sun for what circled above, dirt greening already, year after year

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