Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Calvocoressi's awards and honors include a Stegner Fellowship, a Jones Lectureship at Stanford University and a Rona Jaffe Women Writers' Award...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
FURTHER READING
Gift Shop
The Helen Burns Poetry Anthology: New Voices
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

A Word From the Fat Lady

 
by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

It isn't how we look up close
so much as in dreams.

Our giant is not so tall,
our lizard boy merely flaunts

crusty skin- not his fault 
they keep him in a crate

and bathe him maybe once a week.
When folks scream or clutch their hair

and poke at us and glare and speak
of how we slithered up from Hell,

it is themselves they see:
the preacher with the farmer's girls

(his bulging eyes, their chicken legs)
or the mother lurching towards the sink,

a baby quivering in her gnarled 
hands. Horror is the company

you keep when shades are drawn.
Evil does not reside in cages.






Copyright © 2005 Gabrielle Calvocoressi. Excerpted from "Circus Fire, 1944," from The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart. Used with permission of Persea Books.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.