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!