For Cindy

 (This poem appeared in The Spoon River Poetry Review, Volume XXXVI, No. 2, Summer/Fall 2006.)

She looked a little scared that spring
On the front walkway
Of our two-teacher schoolhouse

Maybe it was because the river
had risen above its banks
that she needed to come in

Later I opened the door to our house
But she would not enter
without her sister
going before her
twin tails brushing my legs
both bellies like melons

A week later
Suddenly she was gone
The sister
And in the closet
We found the ones
She left behind

The next morning
We woke to a discharge on our pillow
And two lifeless ones

And her in the closet
Scared beyond death
Nursing her sister’s six

While the waters continued to recede
Giving us hope
Not for the body
But that the diving rock
Might be revealed again
The place where our student
Had drowned