She looks nearly eleven.
I watch her gloss the slide with waxed
paper, stretch on pink toes to reach the top,
try to make the ride swifter.

Somewhere back when August nights
were live, and leaping,
the village children filled their jars
with quiet brightness.

Now I lose myself between new moons.
Even the grass grows faster.

But being eleven, she polishes the slide,
not knowing how one sheet
of smooth and crackled paper will carry her
further than she imagines.