First Grade

by Anne Dyer Stuart

We ran past the meadow
day followed day into another
I fell in love with her Santa Claus coat
out past the field with the electric generator
we jimmied under barbed wire to cross it
sudden warning of a thunder storm it was
November when we found it
a house that must’ve burned down years before
everything on the ground black around it
rubber doll with a melted face
chain in the backyard where the dog used to sit

Anne Dyer Stuart holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and a PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi, where she teaches writing and literature. She is also writer-in-residence at The Columbia Training School, Mississippi’s juvenile prison for girls, where she teaches creative writing.