I’m climbing up the stair.
It’s dark up there. It’s dark up there.
The light switch isn’t down the stair.
It’s way up there. It’s way up there.
I’m climbing up the stair.
Do I dare ask who’s waiting there?
I know that ghosts are very rare,
But still one might be hiding there.
I’m climbing up the stair.
I feel a tingle in my hair.
I think perhaps I feel a stare.
I think perhaps I feel a glare.
I’m climbing up the stair.
It isn’t fair. It isn’t fair.
To send me to the ghosts’ dark lair.
Don’t they care? Don’t they care?
I tiptoe, tiptoe up the stair.
I flip the switch. I’ve made it there.
The light shines here. The light shines there.
I gave that ghost a great big scare!

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

When learning to tie,
You should give it a try
On a carefully chosen shoe.
The shoe should be new,
Preferably blue,
Extra large too,
Not belonging to you.
The shoe should have laces,
And never make faces
When fingers go places
There shouldn’t be spaces.
Its tongue must not fight
Even if you should bite
While pulling it tight
With all of your might.
Its toe must not tap
To your shoe-tying rap.
It should sit in your lap
And take a nice nap,
Though it might feel a whap
As its strings flip and flap.
The shoe must sit still
No matter how shrill
You scream with the thrill
Of tying it.


© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

My bed is not for sleeping.
It’s my special place to be.
I come here when the person
I need most to see is me.
My bed is where I curl
To read a brand-new book,
So I can make a friend,
Or go someplace to look.
My bed is a swirl of blankets
That makes a cozy nest.
I burrow here when I’m lonely
And I don’t feel quite my best.
My bed is like a stage
Where I give myself a prize
For doing all the things
No one knows I tried.
My bed is just for me.
There’s no one here to play.
My bed is where I take myself
When I’ve nothing good to say.
My bed is a waiting ship
That I can sail alone,
Exploring distant lands
Where the sun has never shone.
My bear lives on my bed
And sheds her worn gray fuzz.
Sometimes I like to visit her
And the self that I once was.
My bed has a magic view.
If I look out past my feet,
I can see my grown-up self,
Walking down the street.
My bed is perfectly comfy.
When each long day is done,
I snuggle here to dream
Of the day that’s soon to come.


© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Pure blue is the sky
In the middle of July
When there isn’t a breath
And you’re lying in the lull
Squinting at the sun
That blinds your eye.
Lazy blue is the sea
Dancing loose and free
For a shell pink beach
Where all you do is drift
Rocked by a dream
Of a place you’ll never be.
Sudden blue is lightning
When there isn’t any biting
Of nails in the house
And you can hear it strike
The quiet in your heart
While you are writing. 
Sad blue is her eyes
Blinking away the lies
When she opens her door
And straightens her face
And smears her painted lips
And says Where was I?

Dizzy blue is your stand
On that lazy island sand
That scorches your hopes
As you beg selfish waves
For a song for your dream
As it slips from your hand.
Pure blue is the sky
In the middle of July
When there isn’t a breath
And you’re lying in the lull
Squinting at the sun
That blinds your eye.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

On Dead Sled Hill
I sit stone still,
Smelling the thrill
When I choose Go!
I’m fit to ride
This mountain slide
Without a guide
To howls below.
I don’t need wheels!
My dream’s so real,
I’ll never feel
The cold winds blow.
I’m not too shy,
Not scared to die.
I’m set to fly!
I just need snow. 

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Snowbells in Cleveland Park

I nearly missed you

In my rush through the cold,
But the surprise of you caught
My eye: What was a flower
Doing out in the snow?
I saw you and I stopped.
But I couldn’t hear you.
My human ears failed
To hear your music.
What sound do you make
With your supple flesh?
Surely, not the tinkling
Of silver or crystal.
My human brain cannot
Imagine. Who can
Hear you? Mice? Fairies?
Flowers sleeping underground?
Do they waken to your song?

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass,
    all rights reserved

photo of Joe, a.k.a. Sophie by Susan Pittman

My homework was bad.
It was long and hard too,
but I’d heard people talk.
I knew what to do.

I found my dog Joe.
I showed him the stuff.
“Here, Joe!” I said.
All Joe said was “Ruff?”

I crumpled the pages.
“Fetch!” I told Joe,
but he sat by my feet
drooling, “Where did it go?”

I tore it to shreds.
I mixed it with stew.
I filled up his bowl.
I said, “Here, boy! For you!”

Joe took a good sniff.
He whined, then he beat it.
I had homework so bad,
my dog wouldn’t eat it.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

I open a book.
There’s someone there.
She’s a stranger at first,
But as I turn more pages,
I see her
Doing things
Saying things
Feeling things.
A few pages more
And I know her better
Than any real person.
I know her parents,
Her teachers,
Her friends,
Her enemies.
I hear her talking.
I hear her not talking. 
I’m worried.
Things are bad.
What will she do?
Will she lie?
Will she run?
Will she put herself in danger?
Will she change?
What?
No, I’m not asleep.
How can I sleep
When I’m already dreaming?

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Silent
Oaks post
Endless broken fences
Silent
Deer nibble
Last year’s crumbs
Silent
Lichens dissolve
Ancient granite markers
Silent
Mushrooms remove
Retired forest sentries
Silent
Shoots spear
Winter’s cracked cloak
Silent
I walk
Among old friends

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

My two front teeth fell out.
I wiggled and I tugged,
Then I sold them to a fairy
For a nickel and a slug.
I waited and I waited
For my two new teeth to grow.
I had to be real patient
‘Cause they came in awful slow.
Now that they’ve arrived,
I think there’s some mistake.
These teeth are way too big.
I think they might be fake.
I need to call that fairy.
I know the deal’s been made,
But I liked my old ones better.
Do you think she’d make a trade?

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved