POEM FOR FRANK OWENS
At recess, on the playground’s wide white powder,
we found the little ant-lion pits to plunder
with our sharp twigs. We stirred in circles, softly,
and chanted Doodlebug, come, come get your coffee,
till he came rampaging up in a puff of talcum,
snapping his jaws, and between two stones we broke him.
We took the unclean stones and pitched them hard
at pigeons on the phone wire overhead,
and missed. We watched our missiles arc back down
like meteors to the pocked cheek of the moon,
producing two small clouds of dust,
which drifted up together and got lost.
—from Rattle #28, Winter 2007
Edison Dupree: “I grew up in Kinston, NC, where the events described in this poem take place. I now live in Cambridge, MA, and work in the library at Harvard University.”