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STICK-FIGURES
# — on a drawing by J.D., age five

A spoked sun wheels above this house which,
with its red-shuttered windows and lavender door,
has no aesthetic need for depth.

Flattened V's, cuneiform which one might read
as crows or starlings, enliven
the sky, an electric blue which bleeds

unto heaven and meets, at a straight horizon,
a shadowless emerald lawn. From the chimney,
smoke corkscrews upward signifying

what you take to be (since no one in the yard
is wearing clothes) redundant heat on a warm
crayola day. Smoke also rises from the pipe

which juts from Father's head, a big balloon
that makes him twice as tall as Mother since
his hair shoots out like spikes, hers bends and falls

to where her shoulders might have grown
if she had need of them. Also, she has knees.
In a square which appears to be a sandbox

in imminent peril of slipping off the page,
two smaller anorexic figures play.
Something propped against a tree aspires

to be a fat, two-legged dog. The tree,
in turn, given all this sun and its own
essential leaflessness, must long be dead.

At lower left is a deep magenta two-wheeled car —
more exactly, if you wish, a '63 Volkswagen —
but the artist has drawn no road, left no way out

that you can see. This seems to be all right:
a waxy contentment reigns, no one is going anywhere
(though the father is waving hello or good-bye

to someone off the page), and no one here,
in fact, can die — at least not, as the mother
would probably say, not for a long long time.



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