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Finding Pixie, a poem


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Finding Pixie


After Father beat the feminine
side of me to death at age five and
continued a year until sure Pixie’s 

corpse would never rise again,
I adopted a new identity—
something acceptable, I hoped.
I became the Indian brave, Arrow.


I read all about American’s natives
in the family set of encyclopedias.
Thousands of tribes including
a local tribe called the Pomos.


I carved a wooden knife and
bow and arrows out of redwood.
I adapted sullen gazes from faces
I’d seen on our sullen TV screen.
It became useful, but obvious
to my sister, my mother, Father.


Father bought me a cowboy hat.
He bought matching silver pistols.
Cowboy boots. A BB gun that

shot real but tiny bullets.
It put me a long distance apart
from Pixie, from my sister, Father,
and from myself.


I climb tall trees. I ride my bike
along the shore until I fall over.
I sift sand, searching for the bones
of my distanced girlhood.
I sit and watch the waves I know
come from China, the birthplace
of my ancestors’ ancestors—
but I never find a clue,
until I find Pixie again,
hidden in a tree,
looking at her feet.


—— Davie

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Love is too weak
a word for this.
I’m sick and I don’t
want a doctor.
I’m broke and I don’t
want your money.
I’m on the run but
tell the police where.
I’m right here. Here.
Love is too
weak a word.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Death Returns Not    


Toots says catch a brook trout
among lilypad tangles by bobbing
a worm on a short line, dipping the  
fishing-pole tip quick to the water.


Toots goes limp, falls into the aisle
of the schoolbus. It stops. His eyes
don’t blink, his lips move, but only

underwater words can swim out.  
He’s a limp teddy bear, pale as milk.


I carry half Toots body off the bus.
The bus driver stares into my face,
with eyes that won’t look away—
I can’t answer them. Toots is dead?
It takes a week for the Green family
to tell our family that Toots lives, but
Polio tries to carry him away to a hell
without a mill creek, without a trout,
to the Presidio of San Francisco.


Toots gets new lungs made of iron
but they have swallowed him whole
without worms or without real legs.
If Toots dies, I will die too. I held death
in my hands once, but it didn’t speak.  
All the polio kids of San Francisco
can’t put his legs together again.
It was nine months ago. He needs
to come home and catch trout.


I’m stealing away to give him my legs,
and bring him back home to Mill Creek.
San Francisco knows nothing of legs,
but while he was gone I found love, so
I’m going to the city, give him my legs—
boys who catch fish in mill creeks
need to climb waterfalls like trout,
climb waterfalls like trout.




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