She made sweet, curved lines, following
paths of sidewalk
around maple roots and strawberry vines.
Fresh cuts fell on concrete.
We followed with rakes and trash bags.
But she had started too late,
forecast for rain, baths to be drawn.
We tense, as if this were the last inning.
We want us to win.
Dark settled into her baby-fine hair
sank deep into chocolate eyes
landed on slim shoulders
rounded into column
slipped into thin,
Grass-stained tennies kept on
intermittently lit by street lights
until the dark shut us down,
red turning to granite.
Later we would call for her
claiming thirst, fear of dark.
She brought hurried kisses.
The light from the kitchen seeped under our doors.
Then rings and whispers.
We strained to hear
who it was
and how he might change things.