RING AROUND THE ROSEY

Give it to the children.
They will suck out the sting,
mask loss with their high-pitched song,
chase fear with their circle dance.
How many decades, how many countries,
lifted above their tangled haloes
of soft hair—ashes, ashes
our impermanence stowed like the crust
of dirt half-mooned beneath their nails.
Swaddled in sweet fiction
they will rise from the ground again
laughing like the cheaters they are.

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