Some lose children in lonelier ways:
tetanus, hard falls, stubborn fevers
that soak the bedclothes five nights running.
Our two boys went out to skate, broke
through the ice like battleships, came back
to us in canvas bags: curled
fossils held fast in ancient stone,
four hands reaching. Then two
sad beds wide enough for planting
wheat or summer-squash but filled
with boys, a barren crop. Our lives
stripped clean as oxen bones.