Ruth Stacey

Little Corpses

Never walk on a frozen lake.
It may appear as thick as your arm
But the silent water deceives with places
Of thinness, beneath bridges and where trees
Slant over; the eager crack and quick swallow-
No little corpses under the ice.

Never play on the railway lines.
Metal tracks shimmering into the distance
Give off the image of adventure, they lie.
When your friends taunt you to follow them,
Say nothing; march off with a strong spine-
No little corpses smashed by a train.

Never go off with a stranger.
If someone calls you over, walk away.
Push down your natural instinct to be polite.
Most people are kind, it is true, but some
Monsters will look as human as you-
No little corpses hidden from view.

*Ruth Stacey  writes poems in the fleeting spaces between motherhood and studying Native American Literature. It is not the easiest way to be a writer, but it is her way.

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