George Perreault

I drop Fiona at the edge of school

joyful and humming with Sudafed and ibuprofen,

wearing parts of a kindergarten costume which still fit:

eye patch and vest, bandana and floppy hat

cobbled together for this event she’s awaited

three years now, nearly a third of her life:

fifth graders celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day.


She dashes to join friends swirling in homage

to lives filled with derring-do and scurvy

pillage and brutal early death

though don’t we all dance likewise against fears,

taming the horror with humors

and this on the heels of lessons

on kachinas and sacred clowns—


a sideswipe of memory:  her sister, Kirsten,

enthralled with all holidays, spring and fall,

public and private, a hat piled with plastic fruit

to resurrect Miranda or Midler while today my little pirate

skips off from this inexorable shore:

bon voyage, me beauty, bon voyage.