by Laura English

Before the signal hits midnight clouds,
Batman’s on the bridge

putting his arms around the frenzied father,
guiding madness into two silver rings.

An officer helps the girl down from the rail
and wraps her in wings his mother knitted.

Then there’s the cottage in an enchanted forest,
a nice couple who always wanted a little girl.

They buy her a blue dress and a Dora lunch box.
The whole village cheers, sends roses

and a tray of sweet cakes. She forgets
her real father, marries a handsome prince.

Now she’s queen of a distant land where jelly beans
grow on trees. She rules with utter kindness.

When a baby is born, spells are cast
that the father never overwhelm his child.

We tell this to her classmates in kindergarten
who ask why her seat is empty.

We tell it to the fear that hangs over the bay
and birds won’t fly into.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 4.

Laura Cini EnglishLaura English has worked as a reading tutor, copy editor, and Spanish teacher. She lives in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania with her husband and four sons.

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