Children’s Pay (b. 1954, d. 1973)

This beach of happy debts
……….On crests of sunny days
Our laughter out of breakers
……….One trilling voice to mine
Spendthrifts of our innocence
……….Before we have to save.

When afternoons wore endless
……….Our tides without a mood
The crimson brands upon our backs
……….As blessings of a god, peeling
Skin more seraphim announcing:
……….Paradise.

A nook of Our Selection
……….Twice we sought for shade
A crawl space sandy laden
……….We crawled on our bare knees
Footfalls just above us
……….Compact spoke in braille.

We returned to find our fathers
……….Drunk but not as blithe
Fearing   sheepish   Baptists
……….Our guilt we had betrayed.
“Th’sun es red!” Dad slurred instead.
……….“Dis Tonkin mess means war.”

“Johnson’s dawn it!” slurred her dad.
……….“Yer son will ave t’pay!”
I touched her hand, our glances met,
……….We grinned along the way
Back to our nook of kisses took
……….Before I had to pay.

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