Pembroke Park

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by Luann Rouff, Ferndale

Last year, before he
Decided to die,
Because he didn't know
How else to live,
My father brought her here.
I wonder what she remembers,
But say nothing.

Are words dead things?
Or are they living things.
As binding as breath?
If, at three,
She has no words for it
Can we call it loss?

From the sandbox,
My daughter raises a tiny arm.
That's when I notice
What's no longer there:
The tiny crease,
The perfect line,
Revealed by a still-forming wrist.

She never looks up
Doesn't know that I, too,
Could just slip away.
This is her world now,
Its terrible perfection.


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