The teacher said

Paint things
Like they really are.
I said I did—
Leaves are red,
Sky is yellow,
And even though
My skin looks pink,
I am truly purple.

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

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

Instead, I scream.

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

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