By Michael Hettich
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Additional resources for A small boat: poems
She left them in her path, without regrets But just as suddenly they grew back: flowers in the moonlight, shocking her. So she followed the perfume in her new hands, was soon forever lost. She went about her family's lives in the same old way: cooked dinner, tucked them in, read them fairy tales while butterflies and dragonflies, larger than she'd ever seen before, surrounded her, talking their strange Page 42 patter, flattering her. She held up her hands, a bouquet, as she walked, and they drank her scent, these insects, and got drunk, or so it seemed the way they seemed to burn the air.
Page 40 Hands Today thousands of envelopes filled with tiny hands are passing through the mail. It is a sunny day, and all these small hands sweat in their mailman's bags. These are the hands of the skunks, squirrels, raccoons that have now become so valued for their strangeness, for their resemblance to ours. Deep in the woods there are still small animals with all four hands. And all around the edges, close to our houses, many walk on stumps. They don't walk far. We feed them scraps from our dinners, and they grow fat and sleek.
Sometimes when I caught a fish I'd cut my line, tell my friends a snapper had broken it. Nights, waiting for sleep, I'd imagine the silver beauty swimming through dark water, long line trailing phosphorous behind him. I'd lie in bed listening to my parents Page 10 move through the house, mumbling, rearranging furniture, saying what could have been my name, a leather sound, over and over. Until I wasn't there. The world is so different now, who could compare? 3. It was late afternoon. We were waiting for my father.