STUDENT FOUND DEAD IN DORM ROOM
I imagine leaves outside her window
with the edges of fall, a cool wind
like back home in Ohio, but this is not home,
this is all she ever dreamed of, worked for.
This is schedules and curricula, plans
she can’t fathom anymore, biochemical imbalance
or not. She lays down after the pills
and watches the oaks and maples.
First day of class.
My son in the next dorm is stunned:
Nobody really knew her,
but how could she?
On the same day his sister
goes to her first junior high lunch,
tries to sit with three different cliques.
Each group gets up. Her pink backpack
comes home heavy,
baggies of sandwich, cookie, apple
still sealed. She says she wants to rest
on her bed. She looks out the window
—from Rattle #24, Winter 2005