A CHILD’S POEM
In second grade, I wrote a poem about God.
I compared Him to an old sea captain
who looked not surprisingly like Santa Claus.
I put the words in bunches of four lines.
The next day my teacher read the poem,
told me she knew very well I had not written it.
I was in my twenties before I wrote another,
locked in a marriage to a man who loved sailing.
We lived in a house by the bay but even the grey
water and orange sun could not calm our union.
I would sit in a gold chair and write poems
till there was nothing in me but the desire
for sleep. A cat that I loved very much
befriended a chubby, speckled rabbit.
The two would walk along the water’s edge
unaware that they were natural enemies.
Once in a restaurant I heard a man describe deer hunting.
“You choose the one you want most and then kill it.”
I repeated the line as if it contained some secret.
I repeated the line so I would not forget it.
© Barbara Alfaro
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