"Jamie, In Memoriam"

Why is that mountain pink
? ask the grandchildren.
We are at the fish-fry place, outside, staring at spilled
blush across the valley, and I, taller because older,
have gone nose to nose with maple red spring whiskers,
and so can answer why. That’s my work, ask and answer.

At the maple festival, the buzz saw cuts slabs of silence,
fallen trees. Inside me the engine thumps like an old, own
beat but why? Repeated thud, hiss of blood. Sound of work
in my town I didn’t know I still carried, the sawmill engine
wheel, blade, big steam lungs, whistle scream, breath
not heard until it stops turning and calling in the throat.

Jamie wore a red coat to class, came in, took it off,
sat down and asked questions. Until her car slid off
the early morning Thruway, skewed road where there
was none, no way to know exact what happened next,
no teacher’s answer to her death. Only whatever work
was hers is done, well, her friends say. One stayed
in school, not driven over the edge by racist serrated
words, for Jamie said, It’s not you, not who or what, but why

Minnie Bruce Pratt

Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivs
Creative Commons 2010

1 comment:

  1. Hey Minnie Bruce,
    Do check out Denis Rancourt's blog: