by Alixandria Moore
The stone held you six feet under the soles and crunched leaves.
We tucked you into your cushioned and polished coffin,
with that spotted yellow dress you wore
the Sunday before you died.
My mother ironed my black dress with the gold trim,
and laid the jeweled broach next to the collar.
You loved to trace the outline of the robin
in the red with your finger.
As we lined up to your bed of nestled clouds,
the brimmed hat waited with shadows crawling down his chin.
We tossed daisies, red roses, and purple lilies in
for you to catch and carry with you.
They flung themselves from our hands
chasing beauty into the ground.
The man wearing a brimmed hat tossed a sapphire orchid.
His expression blank, as his fingertips released the flower.
His upper lip clenched tightly to the bottom.
I’ve seen him before, maybe with you.
The image flew through my grip and mixed in
with the pool of memories I have of you.
The reverend bowed his head and prayed
Lord hold her in your arms.
The brimmed hat grew thick, bushy arms
that coiled around your waist,
stringing the strands of your hair in his fingers
as he pulled you into his car.
I watched from the edge of the sidewalk,
as he took you.
I labeled him an uncle, or a cousin I had never met.
When they found you, the bruises overwhelmed your tiny body.
The blood sprayed across your forehead
and in between your legs.
I opened my eyes to frame the brimmed hat man,
began to raise my hand and expose his sin,
but when I opened my eyes
the brimmed hat was closing the door to his car
and he took you with him.