Size / / /

We only talk now on growing days—

Dad checks my span and shoots me up.

I burst from his embrace

spread new pinfeathers,

go leaping through the lab—

last night I hurdled nine cages of chimps.

He wants me to behave,

submit to another of his five zillion tests

but his moldy ideas are holding me up.

Stripping off my dress I run

naked as a jaybird, swift

as a falcon.

He can't cage me; I'm his little chickypoo.

Outside the lab there are boys, there are birds—

teary threats won't ground me

forever. I am clawed as an eagle

savage as a kite

and I will fly.

Tina Connolly ( is a writer and face painter in Portland, Oregon. Her stories and poems have appeared here in Strange Horizons, as well as in Podcastle, GUD, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. This story was inspired by an exercise at Ellen Klages' 2009 workshop at Hugo House in Seattle. Tina has a website at
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24 Jun 2024

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