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San Antonio By David Oliphant at San Antonio & 21st with the playground empty its wire gates opened wide have crossed the asphalt often where during their hour outside her classes dodged or shot the ball at not much more than 4-foot tall was towered over by the 5th& 6th-grade boys here at Saint Austin’s where she taught in the Paulist fathers’ parochial school though in what she said was never narrow at Goliad the superior marksmen are surrounded & caught in an open field surrender their arms with cover & food in nearby woods at twenty-seven in ’74 mysteriously dead in Ecuador disappearing in Guayaquil weeks later washed on shore the beach where she had walked alone repeating new poetry shall never hear at sight of their games think first of her & then of all this city’s lost her lines like bars of gold in a Spanish galleon sunk off the coast no salvage crew can ever float at the mercy of artillery pieces give their carbines up for dreams of arriving back across the Sabine both the wounded & whole of return each of a joyous reunion with the wife & kids at her going knew more than most of the naked heart & soul of “what remains when one is stripped of all accoutrements” at her height & age saw above all else her body’s one sharp tool her artist’s tongue has spoken upon “Is not Was nor Will Be” at thirty Fannin still brash from resounding defeat of the enemy his troops sent reeling though outnumbered by them by 60 to 1 is ordered to invade & now to retreat in vacillation branded a coward & traitor at the moment of love has described descending to the kingdoms of animal mineral & plant “all we once were” & “whence we come” at his erectile pointing sees in all directions feels & pictures the two of them, “one wonderful well-oiled machine” herself the “Borealis all afire not knowing where” his compass ends & her magnetic north begins at Urrea’s hands clemency seemingly assured yet Santa Anna unconvinced directs instead that most be marched along the upper & lower fords be lined up there for a slaughter at a loss to say if not short-lived how much or little a pint-sized Susan Lucas no gusher might have reached could hardly hazard a guess at this corner with its kicks & yells of recess can only recall her distant walk has reduced as far as Lear yet with even less of her bullion left has enriched as by a player twice as tall at the commotion & smoke 28 escape among the mesquite float down the river names her street far from that fate she has come to share with those remembered 300 & more at this intersection of poems & heroes THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21 4.ieboark.**.. ‘