by Theodora Goss
What do you do? He wore his leather jacket to school,
pulled the fire alarm, felt up one of the nuns.
Detention was a time to draw rocket ships
or race cars. He liked things that go fast (skateboards),
things that were secret (cellars), things that squealed
(mice mostly, but also hamsters). He never harmed them
but put them in desks, purses, girls’ hair.
He read books on poisonous mushrooms and making bombs.
What do you do? Tell him, you are a doll,
created from sticks and feathers? Go back where
you came from? He would grin, get your daughter pregnant,
set your barn on fire.
(The painting is Puck by Sir Joshua Reynolds. This poem was published in my collection Songs for Ophelia.)