On afternoons later in life,

rocking in the shade of thick trees

in southern Missouri,

she nodded often, smiled some, said little


At eleven, a gangling monkey

with tiny sculptured breasts poking

from under a white t-shirt,

she never said no to anything


Her mouth forever flower tasting,

Helena kissed me, pinched me,

raced me bare footed downhill,

red faced, hair a windstorm


I chased her, lost her,

one morning, one summer,

Helena dashing fast ahead

through the whirling day