Ellie, you, the littlest

We weren’t to have had favorites, but of course

I did, failing when it came to the sweetest,

loopiest and weakest of the hundreds of

children at camp. What you had exactly

I don’t remember now. Do we ever really know

what draws us to the one? You were small, I know,

and good at sports. That this one game should matter,

even today, given all the million games,

can only mean it was played on some higher field

for a yet more golden cup bought

with deeper tears.

What this is to you now is nothing, I’m sure.

Your deed lasted the bus and the first ride home.

But I rode my life when I captured that flag –

it was my hope from a broken lost year –

and when the enemy charged it filled me with fear.

I stood on the edge, I looked to the air,

I searched for the fair, and there

I found you –

who took my life away from the crowd.

You spirited me wild like a deer.

When you crossed the line they lifted you up,

and with you they lifted up me.

Amazed we sang, losers winners all,

She’s answered the call, she’s conquered the beast –

Ellie, the littlest of all!