I was the smallest girl in second grade
and Miss Perry, a clear-eyed
pretty bird of a teacher,
always picked me
to help her
with the little classroom chores.
I had a sister who had
more friends than I did and the other
was smarter. But every day
I would dream I was
the belle of the ball.
No matter what the weather,
I declared my life a holiday.
These memories often visit me
during the day, imagine that,
all these years later, life later,
all the joys and tragedies later.
At night, I worry about
the one breath that won’t return to me.
In the end, thoughts don’t die.
©A. D. Joyce, 2014