They sing, the two of them. They know the same hymns.
Don’t mind that one of them is always
off key. Other times they shout in gargantuan mirth,
never mind that everyone is left on the sidelines,
kicking dirt. One has hair that might be done,
or might be pulled into three wild fistfuls
with a comb left in, the start of something wonderful,
interrupted. Today, one’s hair is bleached white,
tendrils sweet against her dark skin. So tired, wiped out
by the process to clean her blood, kidneys failed,
like mine, she doesn’t smile or even focus her eyes
until you say “I love your hair!” and mean it,
so her eyes brighten, deepen, come alive. “Thanks,”
she says, her smile breaking out of hiding
like the sun above dense woods, serrated across
the back of a mountain.