1979
Elegy for Leslie, a Thirteen-year Old Girl
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“Elegy for Leslie, a Thirteen-year Old Girl,” Ensign, June 1979, 11

Elegy for Leslie, a Thirteen-year Old Girl

Third Place All-Church Poetry Contest

Not being dressed,

I had opened the curtains

Just enough to admit

Part of this late February morning, which,

Like water gushing through a crack

Too small for its force,

Spurted over the green cloth and into the room.

I lay wondering

At the strength

Of one spray of pyracantha

Which shot from behind the curtain

Up and across the opening

To flourish in such a rushing

When the phone rang.

Nothing has changed,

Nothing but the angle of the light,

And that only slightly.

This new branch

Still spreads its small leaves

Like putti wings

To ride the light,

And who would hinder

Its flaming?