At one thirty in the morning I remember
her tooth then creep on bare feet
to fish that small pearl.
Three teeth in two months. If she knows
there is no fairy, she keeps it to herself.
She does her homework in far rooms.
Beneath her desk or curled inside
her cardboard house.
She says she doesn’t like to be watched.
Always, I have been the owl
above her branches.
Today she wakes stirred
with mermaid waves left by braids
in damp, overnight hair,
unconcerned with cash left beneath
her tooth-empty glass.
After she asks for help to twist her locks
into a barrette and clasp a locket
around her neck, I recognize
but pretend not to see
how she looks into the mirror
held beneath her eyes:
lashes, framed curls,
the angled fox of her chin.
Micki Blenkush lives in St. Cloud, MN and works as a social worker. She was selected as a 2017-2018 fellow in poetry for the Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Series program and was a 2015 recipient of an Emerging Artist Grant awarded by the Central MN Arts Board. Her writing has recently appeared in: Gyroscope Review, Gravel, Midway Journal, Postcard Poems and Prose, Typishly, and Crab Creek Review. More can be found here: mickiblenkush.com.