30 November 2023

Poem 23

Talking to a stranger

She was lightning, quiet
quick, electric. The cunning
smile I practised
for years, she flashed
at me and with laughter cut

the distance
between a child missing
her two front teeth
and a lady who never knew
the harm in talking

to a stranger. Dried under
her nails were dirt
from sandcastles she built
and toyed with, loved
and ruined.

—Razel Estrella

Top Shelf