She knows about the shapes of things
and asks where a glimmering door leads
as she faces a tall rectangle of mirror
in the Elder’s room at a Head Start
tribal preschool. We take my key
to pretend unlock the door that is not a door.
She reports an ache in her side just now
after running outside and I think of wings
where they join, tired as if a sparrow must flee
the path of raven. Pretending’s mirror
of silvered magic will not tuck into her pocket
where drums resound upon her small frame.
Mary Ellen Talley’s poems have been published in over 100 literary journals as well as in several anthologies. A former school-based speech-language pathologist (SLP), she resides in Seattle, WA, USA. Her chapbook Postcards from the Lilac City was published by Finishing Line Press in 2020.