Elegy Not Given

You are a tawny ribbon running through

the grass of the latest park where you

kick the ball with fluid motion. You are two

eyes, large as the big cat’s, spotting the open

lane, the quick pass. You are stealth

and silence until paroxysms of teenage

laughter bubble forth and you cannot

remember why you are laughing. You are

mocha hair beside your best friend’s blond

braids flying out in all directions as  you stop

a goal. Tonight you are/not the body at the

bottom of a well in the heart of the city.

You are still my almost daughter and my

almost mother’s heart knows no difference

as I cradle your memory and whisper your name

and listen for your voice tearing through the trees.