Self-Portrait as Disney Princess

Never a child with other children. Dead summer, so dark
The bottoms of your feet look as if you’ve skipped through ash.

Your only friends the carpenter bees who bear perfectly round holes
In the carport’s rotting wood frame & dance in socked feet

Glittering with pollen, the hummingbirds hovering at your head
Like a crown. Your caretaker, old man, pallor of acceptable pedigree,

Sits chain-smoking inside the house, hacking phlegm
Into a Folgers can, thinking himself your savior.

You know only compassion. Watch the spiders curl
Into flowers of death, and, having observed them building their webs

Each dusk, preside over small funerals in admiration. Green
As the colonial Pippins piling beneath a neighbor’s Newtown.

C’mere little squirrel you say to the kit scooping it into your arms.
How could you know its mother will never touch it again?