except when we were alone
and the clouds of cold came out
of our mouths instead of the words
lined in gold
at the school bus stops
and in our pale galoshes
pearl dimmed coats.
and dimming are the rooms we knew
and the violets strewn
the remnants of our flower chains
and classroom disdain
how will we white with frost
begin to count the cost
who have barely begun
counting at all.
we are small in our cherry velvet
said the young queen
half in and half out of the fairy wood
I will, I will be good.
mary angela douglas 25 october 2016