balanced on a circle of sticks and mud and leaves.
A brush of wild lilac grows behind the winter barn.

Four fat-eyed women cool their toes on damp brown sand
three men scratch and squint like drunken loons
at the girl child, who screams from her nest on Jackson Pond.

She stole past the porch in a milky blue vest, round
wet rocks slipped green beneath her feet.
Her left hand held a brush of lilac from the barn.

Squares of tartan blankets spread across warm ground,
split wood shingles from the boat-house roof
float to the girl child, who cries on Jackson Pond.

Neighbours share corn rolls and cups of white clam broth.
Old dogs stretch in sleep, their faces nod like trees.
A branch of wild lilac leans against the winter barn.

There’s a little round island like a heap of hollow bones
where a girl child stood howling in her vest and boots.
Silver geese swim in rings, to nest on Jackson Pond.
A brush of sweet-lilac lies curled beside the barn.