Until My Mother Found the Box and Took It Away

On recess, we’d run past the slides
and the swings and the white four square lines,
off the black top to the battlefield
to play chase in the tall wheat grass.

And one day while crouching
in the dried amber stems
I found in the dirt a pale pink arrowhead.
After that, we never played chase.

We dug for more points, for shards
and small bones. I kept them
in a box meant for pencils
and hid them inside my desk.

Every recess, we’d rush to the field
to dance in a circle around them,
sing to the sky, raise our arms
and move as if we were birds.

We didn’t know to call it prayer.
Whirling. Wailing. Putting our noses
and ears to the ground. Hiding
what we found to be sacred.

The scent of fall in the air.

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