little girl at age five, seven, five, seven, seven












born to defy stock
rivalry of age, she was
mother’s equal. still,
mother kept beauty secrets.
said, perhaps in a few years


loving the scent of
peas, a fly dove into her
brother’s soup. only
she saw. silent, she watched her
brother finish ev’ry drop


sheltered from sugared
treats, her first childhood thoughts of
stirred when the icecream parlor
menu read “Eskimo Pies”


hoping to revive
the frogs beneath the frozen
backyard pond ice, she
lovingly placed them in a
tub of scalding bathwater


it’s been a few years,
mommy, she said. tell me now
of beauty. on my
own I’ve learned of hungry flies,
icecream desserts and frog broth

Johnny Masiulewicz is author of the poetry collections Keywords: a dada experiment (Happy Tapir Press) and Professional Cemetery (Puddin’head Press). His work has appeared in a variety of literary journals and anthologies including Curbside Review, Letter eX, Third Wednesday, Nerve Cowboy and The Alembic. A native Chicagoan, he now lives and works in St Johns, FL.

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