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The Year I was Seven

I picked black berries
From the vines under
Our neighbor's fence
Let the dark juice
Drip down my chin
Nothing ever stayed white.

I wore sandals, and only sandals
No sneakers, no dress shoes,
No white socks with lace frills.

I read book after book
Variation on a theme
Of dragons and princesses
I dared to dream.

I wrote stories with no endings
Plays with no characters
Poems with no rhyme.

I drew flowers and rainbows
Puppies and kittens
And everything happy.

I watched smoke billow
Ashes fly and planes fall
I watched people cry
And teachers silenced.

I listend to velcro shoes
Ripping our moment
Of silence of memory
Solidifying what we did not know
Etched onto hearts forever.

I watched a war
Waged on people
Against an idea
I watched freedoms
Trampled in the name
Of justice.

I watched leader after leader--

I watched death tolls
And market crashes
Souting matches
So called "debates"
I watched blue and red.

I watched life become
An argument between
Right and Wrong.

I watched water flood
And fires burn.
I watched bullets rain
And blood flow.

I watched victory
Quoted and trampled.

I watched blackberry vines
shrivel a
nd clothes stay white.