After her father leaves her mother,
Madi wears her pink shoes backwards.
She wants to know about earthquakes--
why they happen. She is six.
She refuses to leave the rug of terra firma fuzz
on our cluttered classroom floor,
cares nothing for math,
She wants only to make this picture,
embroiders it stitch by stitch by stitch--
Two suns shine on a crumbling cottage.
Madi lives inside it.
I lift the little rug from her guarded lap,
drape it soft across her tense bony shoulders.
A small ceremony.
She makes a cape of it