It’s like this—at recess the bell,
us already rummaging for bottle-caps
in teacher’s lounge recycling;
the rain has come, the rain has wrecked
our gravel soccer field and a vast puddle
created in the southwest corner.
Spectators, a coliseum’s worth,
milling, some carrying water
in ziplock sandwhichless baggies
to deepen gravity’s groove
for the great races.
these things are great; we can race
bottle caps with the best of them,
all our hope small-packed upon the cap
rushing doomward into vast muddy water,
water not supposed to be there really
but we, hehe, stoppered the drain
with safeway bags; we, hehe, had won
ourselves a better competition
than genepool’s arbitrary game.
And there’s my cap, over gravel dams
and white-water, stuck behind a twig,
penned up with what cannot win—
O I could not make a grave enough face.