innocence lost

Best friendships can be 

fragile in first grade. The

dark-eyed boy lived in his

brown brick house only 

two blocks away from 

our yellow stucco, just

a short walk to play.


I accepted his shy,

unexpected gift of the 

ceramic Navajo woman

painted with raven black 

hair and azure skirt lying

in graceful folds around

the seated figure.  She

wore a squash blossom 

necklace, held a diminutive

basket of maize in her lap, 

and smiled delicately.


As I turned her over in 

my rapt, trembling hands,

she slipped to the sidewalk

and broke into ugly shards,

shattering our young hearts.

I fled home to Mom who gently 

tried to glue all my sobbing 

pieces back together.




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