Amy Short

In the golden
Oklahoma morning
she could taste
the fiery heat to come
in the grit of sand
between her teeth.
Her brother

gathered pinecones:
cellulose munitions.
With rough and
woody scales as triggers,
played kamikaze,
ignorant to
its meaning.

In the summer
when there was no snow to
be packed tight
into cold, stinging balls,
these were their weapons.
Launched at the face
a big one

could draw some blood.
She could really get a
grip on those.
The smaller, softer ones
were ineffective,
soggy missiles
in damp shade.

Their only
strategizing came in
hide and seek—
“Olly olly oxen
free!” years away from
Enola Gay’s
Little Boy.

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