Graham Page 2


What strange convection sent these things so high?
A small child's secrets, wishes on a distant cloud.
And then, like divers plummeting from sky
or flying castles, they come floating down,
a drift of dolls as speechless as a dream.
In pleats and puckers, each with smiling face,
they plunge to catch on wires or limbs of trees,
to hang by skirt or hair or bits of lace

until a shiver comes, a hint of want,
some grownup's whimsy to be tall and thin.
It shakes them from whatever sleep they haunt,
these vinyl spirits stuffed inside a skin
that shrinks as if idealized too small.
A girl will reach to grasp them as they fall.


Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor (Texas Review Press) was awarded the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her current project is Walking with Elihu, poems on the American Peace activist Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith (1810~1879).