baby handChangeling

by Hannah Craig


The house was full of vinegar again.

The walls moved, evaporating into moss.


He had just begun to distinguish shape from shape,

the pang of hunger from the stick of a pin.


Now the woman stood in the door, wearing

her rubber gloves.


And the door filled with that soft yellow gauze

they called light.


The walls moved and They came, lifting

him with hands white and long as deer antlers.


The woman, supine on the couch,

her hands like leaping dogs.


They cooed. Claws for faces. Hoof-hearted.

Chick, chick. Luck-duck, chancy child.

Oh, he thought. So this is wistfulness, he thought,

looking out and out. Back to the trailer,


to the avenue with its circlets of light.

To the mother, her brow knit with forgetfulness.


To the crib with its shadowy lap, that something

so unlucky, still and heavy as a brick.



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