Children Playing (Nones)
Ann Lauinger

Children Playing (Nones)

Vidi a lor giochi quivi e a lor canti
ridere una bellezza, che letizia
era ne li occhi a tutti li altri santi.
++++++++++Dante, Paradiso 31

It must be 3 p.m. in Paradise
when Dante sees the jeweled shore and stream
resolve themselves into the shining Rose
of endlessness, where Mary smiles at games
of sempiternal jump rope, stickball, jacks
which I see kids, who’ve made good their escape
from slow-rolling prison transport and their six-
hour stretch of cultivation by the state
(so a pimple ball held tightly and released
will reassert itself as a true sphere),
play here where, in a time not pinched or pieced
but, at this Jericho hallelujah hour,
undammed to flow forever as it should,
they know all Dante saw of bliss and good.

Ann Lauinger

has written two books of poetry: Persuasions of Fall (University of Utah Press, 2004), winner of the Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry, and Against Butterflies (Little Red Tree Publishing, 2013). Her poems have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Southern Poetry Review, and other journals and have been anthologized or featured in The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and Martha Stewart Living Radio. A member of the literature faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, she serves on the Advisory Committee of Slapering Hol Press and lives in Ossining, New York.