Small Mammal

holding the creature
in his hand the boy feels
its eager heartbeat
just as others have grasped
his pulse in their larger hands

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Halloween Gypsies

We all dressed as gypsies. We all

wore tall boots and long skirts
and shirts un-tucked and we all
tried to flirt and twirl our skirts
before we skipped down the street,
tapping our feet and ringing bells, 
telling what we were to get our treat,
singing on the street the songs to sell
the candies we’d gotten that night.
That night we headed home on tired feet
to sort our treats and trade in the light.
That night, everything was sweet. 

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Before School

I just brushed my teeth.

All I need to do is spit,
but you hip check me
out of the way, so you
can stand in front
of the sink. I stamp
my foot and clench
my fists. That’s
when you laugh.
I want to sink
my teeth into
your arm I
want to tear
your skin
I want
to see
your
blood
run
down
the
s
i
n
k

Instead, I scream.

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

I still go there

I still go there sometimes—

To that other place that’s here but isn’t real.
I run across this grass and duck behind that tree
But I’m a dragon. I am small and blue, icy silver blue,
the color of an ocean wave on a completely sunny day,
frozen suddenly, just as it begins to fall,
blue on the inside, frosty white on the outside,
transparent all the way through. 
I have wings, but I’m a young dragon, so I can’t fly yet.
The pointy tips of my wings are pure silver,
As if they’d been dipped in a cauldron of melted coins and candlesticks.
Actually, I’m a water dragon.
If I’m near water, I can control it.
I can make enormous, powerful waves crash
Over the banks of the river and knock a giant to the ground.
I can make rain, so thick you can’t see through it,
To put out a fire set by a jealous pixie. 
I can make a frozen pond wherever and whenever I want
So I can ice skate with my friends, even in the summer.
I have many dragon friends, and they have different powers.
We live whole dragon lives. We even die.
The next day, we come back, curled inside a leathery dragon egg,
Where we stay until we are ready to be reborn.
I know it isn’t real. I know I’m getting too old.
But I still want to go there.
The problem is it’s hard to get there by myself.

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved