by Eliza Callard

She’s burning her white tears down her white

face and onto my black arms.  She has, today,


heard the word, and just as with any of these

slurs, it’s not the word, it’s the fear behind it.


The hate.  I told Derek that she is the golden

sun-child of our love, but he didn’t believe me.  Today


my child heard the name explaining her

fatherless six years, and the stares, and the giggles,


and prophesied the rest of her life.  She

is a stalk of yellow wheat, and someday soon


I will have to tell her that she can decide to stand out

in a vase of purple velvet tulips or she can pass


among the field of grain.  Or will she grow tough from

the winds, part of neither, part of both?

Eliza Callard lives in Philadelphia, in the house where she was born and raised.  She likes a good hike and a toasty cup of cocoa at the end of it.  She shares her home with a variety of family members, some furrier than others.  She has been published in Stoneboat, Hobart, and Cleaver Magazine, and her full list of publications can be found at her website,