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  the little one flitted about the room
  all whirling ponytails and careless laughter
  chasing after little black ants 
  that awoke from a dreamless winter sleep to see
  the shadow of a little foot
  and then nothing 

  I lay on the couch, absorbing the warmth of the fireplace
  and the memories of you
  barely aware of their fate 
  the whirl of ponytails, the careless laughter
  when suddenly the little one, ponytails now hanging limp
  in hushed solicitude asked why 
  I was sad

  I could have told her of you -- but I said nothing
  stared blankly at the TV 
  as if she wasn't there

  and so she flitted away
  a whirl of ponytails and careless laughter
  while I wondered if it was really her 
  who asked why 
  I was sad

© 1996 S. A. Oleksy