Volume 14 • Number 2 • Fall-Winter 2022-2023

Tanya Adèle Koehnke

Tiny Tattoos

Flipping my little fingers
through tiny tattoos
inked on teeny tear-off pages
in an itsy-bitsy booklet
that rolled on four corners
onto my palm
with a handful of chews
for a nickle in the slot
of the bubblegum machine
at the five-and-dime.

Six images
daisy rainbow cloud heart spade
I chose the silver star
made a small fist
pressed it on my wee wrist
licked and stuck it like glue
to my delicate skin.

Bikers with big muscles
menacing buzzards and cupids
flying on their biceps
I too was a grown-up now
twinkling in the universe
traversing the sun
with innocence and permanence
before childhood washed away
with soap and water
summer rain.

Tanya Adèle Koehnke is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society (T.O.P.S.) and the Scarborough Poetry Club. Tanya’s poems appear in The Ekphrastic Review; The Ekphrastic World Anthology 2020; Framed & Familiar: 101 Portraits; Hamilton Arts & Letters’ “The Canadian Chapbook”; Canadian Woman Studies; The Canvas; Big Art Book; Foreplay: An Anthology of Word Sonnets; Tea-Ku: Poems About Tea; Grid Poems: A Guide and Workbook; and other publications. Tanya taught English at several post-secondary institutions in Toronto. Tanya also has a background in arts journalism.