Oh dear, you are a rare thing, arenít you? A rare bird,
even if you sometimes disappear to trees and in shadow;
itís not your fault, that smallness and love of dark spaces.
The teacher has come and she says we can build you a nest,
if I like you so much. I have twigs and some asparagus,
a door knob too. Iíll map it out using some chalk
and paper pilfered from Tommy, the man down the hall.
Today I am not a giant; today I will be with the birds.

In another life, I was dragon-like, a dinosaur
before dinosaurs, scales like petals, eyes
that didnít blink. Listen now, I would
never pluck your feathers, I would
wait to gather the fallen pieces,
those long shards of hair leaning
into spine-like bone.

The sky is pushed back
by a woman whose skin folds
and refolds. She holds your eggs
hostage, rolling them in her hands,
carrying their weight. If she drops
those eggs, I would build again,
makeshift graves of shoebox and dirt,
rosaries of bead and yarn. I still think
we can find mortality in smallness.

If I ever find the key for the lock
everyone finds so peculiar,
Iíd use it to prove day
is light, night is not, and
a mind can take things in
even as it collapses.

Lisa Bower's work has appeared or is forthcoming from The Southern Review, Subtropics, Redactions: Poetry & Poetics, Poetry Southeast, The Hollins Critic, The Florida Review, and The Mississippi Review. She is allergic to many things, including tuna (chicken of the sea) and chicken (yes, really). Lisa currently lives in Roanoke, Virginia. (lisamgbower@gmail.com).

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761