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Ritual 

In the caged-in cage
of safety, the children
bounce and freeze
and play dead man
who tags himself
back to life,
the trampoline shredding
its edges with foam
emerging and flakes
of plastic tumbling
between feet.

Holding the netting,
the frogs hop higher
squeezing their knees
to pop their young heads
above the rim
of this canister of youth
elastic energy
released in angry nervous leaps
caught in
kid-game rules
and the need to move.

Down below in a dry field
coming reluctantly to spring,
the grown-ups gather,
circling a ceremony
for the girl's dead mother
as hawks swoop overhead
and smoke and song travel
to the loved one gone
and to the other
who jumps her rage
and never turns
her eyes away.

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