Tiny Bird

dangling into the chasm
of transition into double digits,

she begs to graduate
from the Junior version of Apples

to Apples. I stretch, making space
then sort out most proper nouns,

mentions of wars, and binary thinking
but words slip through to stump

this pop-culture-deprived mind.
delighted I learn she doesn’t know —

fossil fuel, imagining food for dinosaur
bones — supermodel draws a blank —

and fad diets leaves her empty —
she slides the cards to me

and grabs something new
to add to her hand. she shifts

eager to spread her knowledge
and soar into independence.

the lid is stacked
with phrases better left

in the twentieth century,
my birthplace and her mystery.

our nest is tight,
uncomfortable twigs

pressing her wings
still small for her age.

perhaps if we can find worms
juicy enough in this game

we could both smile
at her extended reach

new wind providing
us fresh vocabulary

for this baby
century, sprouting as teacher.


Poem by Joann Renee Boswell

Joann Renee Boswell, the author of the forthcoming breath so hungry (The Poetry Box, 2022) and Cosmic Pockets (Fernwood Press, 2020), is a teacher, mother, photographer and poet currently living in Camas, WA with her husband and three children. She loves rainy days filled with coffee, books, handholding, whimsy, sci-fi, and justice. Read more at joannrenee.com