Those Who Saw
Nadia, Age 14, Baltimore, MD
Clusters of leaves quiver like old lady fingers,
the sun sends down pinpricks of warmth like lit matches,
and the wind brushes them away with the first semblance of autumn.

A nameless insect crosses the rubber toe of her shoe,
another crawls over the freckle above her knee.
A cocoon of entwined thorn bushes surrounds her as she crouches, eyes wet.

An ant, antennae waving, balances precariously
on a glistening blonde arm hair,
and is swept away by a thoughtless breath.

Knotholes in the fence stare across the yard,
observing, with wooden silence,
the lengthening of shadows and the shudders of a young girl.

A fleck of green, a flicker of light through two fence posts.
Seaweed strands of moss, light and feathery.
The irregular beating of the outside's cicada heart.

The rustling of ocean waves calling down
from the treetops reassures her
and the aching cries of a dog colliding
with the screeching howls of a crow reminds her.
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