top of page

Foster Child


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.

bottom of page