Lines West, April 21, 2017

Red Crystal Horses

Red crystal horses, soldiers of glass.

Three children playing, seasons to pass.

Clattering bright on hard wooden floor,

Cat’s eyes, clearies, aggies and more.

Red crystal horses are raced down the track

from room end to room end and then carried back..

Armies of blue glass and green glass and gold

clash and retreat with prisoners to hold.

Children’s peeved voices the battles define:

“You cheated!  You cheated!  The green ones are mine!”

Races rehearsed through heavy oak doors –

“I get the red clearies!  The yellows are yours!”

Dimly lit parlor where no grown-up sees,

warmed by bruised elbows and skinny, cold knees.

Long winter hours shared only by three:

My older brother, my sister, and me.

Memories encountered as seldom as these

from long years of sleeping still waken with ease

when nudged by such trinkets beheld from the past:

Red crystal marbles, rainbows of glass.

By Helen Sperber, first published in Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine


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