By Maura Snell
Hey, you, in your tutu,
tulle-decked and plump
with the pots of geraniums
leaf-licked and blooming about you.
Hey, you, there, squat on the cement step,
fingers wrapped in fists, bare toes wiggling,
where did you go little girl?
You surged, opening
the way a new bud might
when placed in water and sunlight
in a fast-frame unfurling.
Will you remember me when I’m dust?
I can feel how the concrete must have made
your bare skin itch, the leotard, thin
against your tiny bottom pressed down
into rough cement,
already a eulogy.
You’ve disappeared into gawk and glasses.
But sometimes, when you’re not looking,
I squint at you and can still see in your profile
that baby girl,
gazing up at me as she squats
among the geraniums.
photograph: Werner Images