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Marly Youmans

Tears of a Boy, Age Six

Waking, he tells his woe
About his sistertwelve
And slender like a bow,
Taut as the silk an elf

Is stringing. Glints of light
Declare he's lame to halt
The arrow of her flight.
Birds say it's not her fault.

The little sands imprint
Her passing feetshe is
More lovely than the tent
Of dawn. She is not his.

Sea pours against the world
As she transforms to fish
And leaves behind all girl.
The boy is caught by wish.

The sea's a wilding stream
Of tears. Inside a shell
Like a recurrent dream,
Her name echoes its spell.

Marly Youmans is the author most recently of Claire (LSU Press), a sequence of poems, and The Curse of the Raven Mocker, a Young Adult novel. Its sequel, Ingledove, will be published in May by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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