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“Maneuvering an Army”

by Faith Harron

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Year twelve began with
ragtag kids, bound by the over-arching arms of parents who
cared too much.

Kids that loved spiders, marshmallows, staying up too late to touch the summer
air and wonder if it’d be sticky enough to lick
like a lollipop out the window screens.

Kids with dads in Kosovo.
Kids with hearts too young for war.
Kids with minds that grew up too fast.

My hands tied another yellow ribbon around a tree, fingers skimming past
another girl’s arm,
Making a bow out of the ribbon and also our breath because now we were
a team.

We were friends, then, this girl and the boy who laughed too loud and the
girl who used way too much of that pink soap in the sink of the second-grade
classroom because she liked the smell.
Friends from war.