Laurie Pollack

The yellow ribbons for her hair

She preferred to dress in overalls like a boy

She loved it when he taught her how to hunt.

He said she was a good shot just like him.

But still she loved to braid these ribbons in her hair.

Her green and purple dress, so long outgrown.

He bought it for her birthday when she was ten

Though times were hard. She used to love

to wear the dress to church.

I put the ribbons and the dress inside the box

Her rag doll, Molly, sitting on the shelf

I sewed it when she was five, and it's been years

Since she's played with it.

When she sang to the doll he used to laugh.

The doll, and also her prayer book go into the box.

"Donate them to the church!" he said last night,

And handed me the box. His eyes and voice were dry.

"The drought is hard, and others are in need."

"We have no children. Others can use these clothes and toys."

He held the rifle in his other hand.

And then we knelt and prayed.

And now I look into the box,

And think about the man I used to love.