New Country

She couldn’t do it,

Couldn’t make herself
Put her foot
On the strange
Moving stairs.
Alice had done it.
There she was
Rising into the sky,
Smiling even.
But still,
On the ground
They seemed dangerous,
These steps
That moved by themselves
Taking you only
Forward and up.
What if she changed her mind?
People crowded
Behind her
Urging her on.
“What’s taking so long?” they asked.
It was nothing to them.
She pushed
Through the crowd,
Watching Alice
Rise above her.
Who knew what could happen
In this country
Where you took just one step
And were swept away?

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

The Monster in the Closet

There’s a monster hiding there—

Right behind that door.
And though it’s quiet now
It makes an awful roar.
It has a gaping mouth
That never needs to close,
And it can swallow anything
Even people’s toes.
But what is worst of all—
It never runs away
Because my mother lets it out
And helps it to its prey. 

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Mushrooms

After three

days of rain
white-capped
mushrooms
litter the grass
like umbrellas
abandoned
when the sun
came out.

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Dear Mr. Wordsworth

Dear Mr. Wordsworth, here I lie

On my couch in a pensive hour,

Listening to chill winds cry,

While shivering branches scour

The window glass, but thanks to you

I am not limited to this view.


Through your words and by my will

I am transported to another day, far away,

Where daffodils gather along a hill,

Put to shame the waves in a bay,

Challenge the stars with their multiplicity,

And give my life a joyous duplicity.


But even as my cheeks grow warm

By the glow of ten thousand faces,

The sky changes, clouds form,

Rain pours down, ruining your graces.

For it is not your daffodils I crave,

But your company, as I watch them wave. 



© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved