Some children said they were attackers
when they went around the table saying
their names and where they had come from.
One child’s mouth was a mirror
inside my hand, and another’s
face was the landscape outside, wild and green
and wet. They drew their houses
and spoke of how their mothers’ hair
looked from behind, and grew
like plants tricking the eye into thinking
they are still. I looked out the window
and thought about my own mother.
When the children dreamt their hair
was on fire, we spent the morning building
wire helmets for their heads.
This poem originally ran in the October 10, 2005 issue of the magazine.