Looking the Other Way
Doug, it was me who stole
the white pocketknife
from your desk in second grade.
I pushed it deep into my own desk,
buried it in broken crayons and
the violet blur of crumpled worksheets.
I know you never suspected me, a girl.
It was such a nice knife.
Your crewcut grew shaggy, darkened,
Your softness grew large, your voice stayed quiet.
We hardly noticed you.
The pearly knife, hidden in the woods, lost —
I’d almost forgotten it by the time we reached 13,
By the day the truck killed you
on Route 4. You were on your bike,
You were looking the other way.
Lee Tucker lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she defends indigent persons accused of federal crimes. She studied poetry and fiction writing as an undergraduate, then became a human rights attorney and later a public defender. She writes in her backyard, surrounded by wild mustard, prickly pear cactus, weed-happy rabbits, and bees.