You Brought Me Glass
marbles and a puzzle map of the world
the only time you came to visit. Christmas.
That year I lived in the thin house.
I remember. Snow black with soot on the tiled station
roof, a porter placing your one suitcase on the trackside
baggage stand, steam curling from your lips
like words never whispered. The puzzle was too hard
for a fourth grader but I did it anyway.
Forced Norway into North Sea. Sudan to Egypt.
Glued pieces together, sealed under the glass
top of my student desk. Aggies and Alleys
still new I kept in their Marble King box.
In Oslo a farfar tattooed Bastian on his grandson’s
back eighty-nine times. Cairo children are shaken
in sieves to prepare them for vagaries of life.
I waited. For you. For the snow to melt.
To lag the line, knuckle down, use shooters
to knock each other out of the circle.
–Mark Lee Webb