“The crowd started bawling”when they heard the news,

That the Amber Alert was called off, because “remains” had been found.

The crowd gathered by the house where your dead father was removed

In a black bag and you, rolling 

Sweet potato

Around the back of “a white van.”

Your head, in a gigantic purple helmet, tiny girl

Your crazy smile and wise, faun eyes,

Always the sun in pink in red in yellow in violet, always smiling, 

Your brow furrowed: you have seen that life can be hard, and 

You are ready to stand up and fight for better days.

Your mother hissed, You don’t love her, to the man who stole you,

Your mother is right and remembering,

You, as Les Nymphéas, pouring forth,

And bawling also the way that dumb-struck animals do,

When they are herded to their deaths, and everything has narrowed to a point 

Of white light, the dead star, its wan reflection shining,

Hayley, I saw you this afternoon and kissed your picture,

Sweet kid and now am filled with poison, 

None of which can touch you: you stand, like a cracked glass

Portrait of Mary, and the break certifies your absolute 

Beauty and blue birds fly in furious vectors until their feathers

Fall, quilting what remains and slanting upward

At the beginning of your immortal life, their diminutive heads bowed,

Their black eyes filled with tears of shame: we still must live here, 

For a short while. 
                    —Hayley Dunbar-Blanchette, Rest in Peace. ➕

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