I linger stretching as they drown the elf
who grins at torture in his Christmas suit.
Their other victims, all dolls, drench the shelf
they’ve made out of a chestnut stump where boots
sucked off by mud lie half-submerged in muck.
Barefoot, soaked, the younger sister stands to roll
baggy pajama bottoms up. She tucks
her shirt and creeps, graceless as a foal
back down beside the creek to fan her hair
inside the ice-shard swirl. My chuckle breaks
the spell—no wave or soft hello can glue
their morning whole again. Both girls glare
before their sprinting feet stamp little lakes.