“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
Around the back of “a white van.”
Your head, in a gigantic purple helmet, tiny girl.
Your crazy smile and wise, faun eyes,
Always in pink in sun red & 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 I 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: 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. ➕