By Linda K. Sienkiewicz
Featured Art: Woman at a Window By Casper David Friedrich
I believed I could communicate
with the female mink on my great uncle’s farm
until I put my thumb up to the cage
and she sliced the tip as keenly as a razor.
I believed Pippi Longstocking
could save the world.
I believed I could save myself
from the men my mother warned me about
the ones who might come up through the woods
from the far road by feeding them mud
cakes made with millipedes and spiders.
I believed I could live alone in a boxcar
with a can opener and blanket
and care for six orphans, too.
I believed my father actually would
flush my brother’s head down the toilet.
I believed if I walked three times fast
past the long picture window
my parents would not crash the car
on the way home from Talko and die.
I believed I was exotic when I danced with
two washrag triangles over my flat chest.
I believed germs followed me home
on my shoes when I used public bathrooms.
I believed even after I lied to my mother
about what I showed the boys behind the fir trees
that my heart was made of gold.
I believed my brother when he told me
we have one big eye in our head with two dots
from which we view the world.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz’s short stories and poems have been published in several literary journals and anthologies. Her newest release is a children’s picture book. Sienkiewicz’s debut novel, In the Context of Love, was a finalist for multiple awards, and she has also been the recipient of a chapbook award from The Heartlands Today. She holds and MFA from the University of Southern Maine.