Camille T. Dungy

She Liked the Moving Things Best

Molly didn’t sleep the night she borrowed Master Fink’s eye.

She knelt by the flat rock near her hold hole,

her belongings all around, and sent the glass eye clacking

toward the marbles, bumping the dice, wobbling, for hours,

the same direction the little blue ball rolled. 


Molly couldn’t help but be a little pleased by her courage,

showing the Missus’ father’s eye these things of hers:

the thimble, the silver fork—Miss Amy called it an oyster fork

when the set came up one short—the black button, the many

strings and ribbons, the brass cufflinks, the tiny glass vase.


Shad thought the collar button of his only buttoning shirt had fallen off

of its own accord.  He believed Molly lost the pebbles and ribbons, the tokens

he gave her, thought she had too much on her mind most hours,

couldn’t keep track of it all.


Shad thought Molly wanted the same things he wanted:

an arm crook to rest in before the conch call, a thigh

leaning against another’s through the nighttime meal.


But Molly buried the things she liked best: the pinwheel

little Master Rufus left out in the yard, the red and yellow marbles,

the spinning top.