Every Day’s Girl
Every day someone relentlessly
taps on my shoulder wearing
a blue crinoline dress; she wants
instead to put on her cowgirl
pants and hat. But then
she doesn’t want that
she begins to cry and sulk
and I am trying to pack our things
so that we can take a train
to another country
She plays all day
alone and I take her graham crackers
and milk from Thatcher’s dairy and I beg
her to be brave and she says how long
do I have to be brave forever
because I can’t do that
And I go to my closet and dress her
like a flamenco dancer and make that
castanet noise with my mouth
to cheer her up she is momentarily
gladdened and skips over the floor
and goes out into the yard and comes back
frowning– mother what have you done
with my dog. I can’t answer
as I was the last one to see it running
along the road and no one has called.
But then I hold her on my lap
and kiss away her tears and begin
a story once there was a girl
who had the great skill of taming wild ponies
and the world had no horses but she put rainbows
in their mouths and clouds on their backs
and rode them until they were not afraid
of human beings. She is quiet
and then are we humans
she asks me and I had not thought
about this
Yes of course my dear
and then we say together of course
my dear laughing at each other
and then I gently add
and that is why we burn.