water boils on a sunday, five to noon,
as robins tweet the midday matins
and round neighbor children roll down
smiles through a sea of teeth—

as i read the sanguine stories—
red flushing out the brilliant blue,
like sunset muting lilacs on a stage—
the ice cream truck jingles, and
plump red faces come rolling, writhing*
for a sea of chocolate cones—

inside, the tea water babbles, while outside—
far in the world out of view—the dark
thrush** cowers in a ringing of shells:
smiles melting at the morning’s
knells***, children rolling in colic,
and hunger in her toll—

________

* A loose reference to Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est,” specifically the lines describing a mustard gas attack which read: “[We] watch the white eyes writhing in his face, / His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin”

** A reference to Thomas Hardy’s “Darkling Thrush,” a haunting tale with a strange flicker of hope.
Find it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Darkling_Thrush

*** Specifically, death laments