soot-covered urchins

dozens of urchins
all caked in soot
but washed on the bottom
from belly to foot.
dark ashes have covered
their folded silk fans
until they get startled
and open again
revealing the pleats:
clean, elegant white,
as they flee from the scene
and into the night.


-published 2019 edition of Spring Thaw! Itasca Community College