The Real Thing
Beth Roberts
When the winter sun wakes a snake it jumps the gun.
Unhinged by a preternatural spring, the kids

and I tried the snowshot hill right before our eyes.
In the snow three ovoid boys made a man, boy being

father to the man, while we wrote in the snow
Rosalie, mom, uncanny and fresh with overuse

as the real red rose. What I thought too soon
was too late, fireworks that made a sunlick strike

were fake and the real thing made a man cool
into slush beneath a car, me to spin the kids into a tree.

The one deciduous in all the field, the biggest of the boys
flattened and flung get down you idiots you're gonna get shot

to the two maybe smaller for still downhill
and caught in the waves of sound, not shot down.