Rise Up Review
HomeArchiveFound/ErasedAboutHow to SubmitSupporting the Cause

Young Boy Trying to be A Pirate

To Shane

I feel like a heart without a body, a clock
without hands, tick tick tick. This much

I know, December: the sky bursts & rain 
strikes pavement like rounds - AK-47,

Pow Pow Pow echoing through a schoolyard, 
screams glow & dim like search lights. This

is how it feels to lose you; & now, still, white

Grief. In a dream, the dead rise-up, walk 
across water. I go to the window & wait, 

searching for the shape of you. Even Jesus 
had a second coming. Across the lawn,

I wave to a boy who is not my son. I love you; 
I mouth. He is dragging a sword through mud, 

knee deep in runoff, it takes him longer to reach 
my yard than it does for me to finish my cigarette. 

From behind the boy, his mother, pressing her 
hand into the soft of his, look at you, she yells, 

yanking him free of rain-soaked earth. I rush 
from house to storm, hear him cry, I want 

to be a pirate. As salt/tears mix with fresh/water, 
I look down into the muddied pond, his mother’s

face appears as a reflection beside my own. I love 
you, I whisper, this time to no one in particular.

                                                        —Sheree La Puma

Sheree La Puma is an award-winning writer whose personal essays, fiction and poetry have appeared in or are forthcoming in Heron River Review, The Rumpus, O:JA&L, Plainsongs, The Main Street Rag, Burningword Literary Journal, I-70 Review, Inflectionist Review, Levee, The London Reader, Bordighera Press - VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, Gravel, Foliate Oak, PacificReview, Westwind and Ginosko Literary Review, among others. She received an MFA in Writing from 
California Institute of the Arts and taught poetry to former gang members.