Leveler Poetry Journal
About Leveler Submission Guidelines More Poems



Take her drawings down from the wall. The negatives

remain: a pale rectangle where your daughter’s dragon

breathes flame, crayoned on scrap paper you framed, a square

where sun and cloud smile above a pirate ship and mermaids swim


with fish. In another city your daughter dreams of swimming,

eyelids flicker, car with no driver. You not there to stroke

her feet. She flings back her sheet, walks into rooms you haven’t

seen―sunlight on counter, doubloons, pieces of eight.


Wash faint dust lines from the wall, remove nail, trace

shapes’ shadows, move her blessed art to face your bed.

Bow and keel―what will be your figurehead, ablution,

serpent’s breath and mermaid’s tail.

Sheila Stewart