We know the cold, the lack.
We feel the sun crammed
______into its thimble
in a corner of sky.

as by a lover, we’ve rehearsed
the lake’s absent color,
sunset and stick trees.

When we were children
sent to bed without supper,
______our faces
burned from being slapped.

If it weren’t for shame,
our cheeks
______would be pale
as unblanched almonds.

Our debts piled high,
we leave the house
______to stake
what’s left on a horse,
a bolt of silk,
______a sweater
of loose holes, and no buttons.



Judith Skillman