An American Girl

Karen Friedland

The pale blue polyester pants
that old men wore up high in those days,
while they sprayed pesticide in every crack
and swept up every last leaf, impenetrable.

The glee of the muddy, shouting girls
playing in the creek with sparklers,
back before they even knew
they had bodies.

And the tipped-ear,
smiling little reddish-brown dog,
who might live 14 or 15 years
if you’re lucky,
and they don’t give her away –
You’ll remember her kind eyes, always.