When I was just five
the water truck dampened the stone-clogged roadways
in a daily ritual
to bless the paths we traveled to touch one another.
Their corduroy surfaces laced our community, binding us to each other
a fortuitous family, once strangers
who built lives at the end of dirt roads.
In the crisp clean aftermath of mechanical rain
cars dark in luster
dulled with dust
their tires praying in gravelly tones.
They proceeded in ordered lines to a hill
where they clustered,
so many black ants.
I stood, stretching
to catch glimpse of a box
now draped with a flag.
I strained against arms which held closely
my body impatient
wearing black patent shoes.
once religiously sprinkled by well-intentioned trucks
now buries the box
by consecrated shovelfuls.
then rises, defiantly
to choke the clean air,
settling with finality
on the hill
and the cars
and my shoes.
When I was just five.
Nancy Lee is an Honors graduate of MSU in Denver, CO with a contract major in Writing for All Fields. Poetry is her first passion but has written articles involving her contemporaries in Law Enforcement and edited a bi-monthly newsletter for an advocacy center for children. She published one collection of poetry Love, Hate, and Other Associated Things. Her writing career was set aside after she had a set of triplet boys. Once things settled in, she published poems in several local chapbooks, including three from MSU. She is now living back in her home state of Wyoming where she stays active with WyoPoets and the Wyoming Writers Association. She also ponders an MFA through the University of Wyoming.