A woman winds silk scarves through
the arms of trees by the river. She drapes
brocade over stones as if competing with moss.
At the parish hall, the emcee holds up a taped
box, urging people to place their bids. The child
sitting on a stool in the middle of the stage
is tired and drowsy; with the heels of her patent
leather shoes she kicks at the rungs. Now
the woman wants to weave a garland for the child:
what flowers? She bends toward the rushes
and pulls. She will make her wear it
at the May festival, standing atop a float.
Wave, she commands; smile. Don’t squint.
The sun presses against the hinges of bivalves
as if that way, a process might be hastened;
as if that way they could give up a pearl.
In response to Via Negativa: Missing.