Palm Sunday: After the Children Play

by Mary Romero

My eldest sinks towards me
a wilted lily
blushed with rage.

The older girls
have passed her over.
I fold her

into my arms,
longer than hers
only for a little longer,

and let her punch
her bruised pride
onto my chest,

knowing these pains
are easily

I lean against the oak pew
while she shakes,
study the Celtic cross:

addition sign
encircled, wonder
what it will take

to envelop her
when the pain is