Size / / /

Driving them out of Ireland,
his hand on the wheel,
the smallest of the snakes asking,
"Are we there yet?"
Patrick wonders if it is a good idea.
It had seemed so at the time,
all those snakes among the green
demeaning the glory.
It had made him sick, those fellows
in the grass, narrow, startling.
Still, didn't even the meanest creatures
the belly-crawlers, the finaglers,
the seducers of Eden, deserve a home?
Who is he to claim Ireland only for himself?
He tells them to shut their cake-holes,
stop hissing and pissing about the ride.
He needs to think about Christ,
figure out what the Holy Spirit wants.
His fingers on the wheel turn white
as he yanks it hard, heads for home
hoping he will not regret it,
asking himself: What would Jesus do?

Publication of this poem was made possible by a donation from Daniel Ausema. (Thanks, Daniel!) To find out more about our funding model, or donate to the magazine, see the Support Us page.



Jane Yolen writes poetry for both children and adults. She is a past winner of the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling award for a short poem, Dwarf Star Award for poems under ten lines, as well as being named by the Association as a Grand Master of science fiction and fantasy poetry. She is a frequent poetry contributor to such genre magazines as Asimov’s, Mythic Delirium, and Goblin Fruit. She has over 370 books published, a huge number of them poetry. Her books have won the Caldecott, the Christopher Medal, the Jewish Book Award, and two of her stories were Nebula winners. Three of her books won the Mythopoeic Award. Last year, she was named a winner of the New England Public Radio’s Arts and Humanities Award. And her Skylark Award set her good coat on fire.
Current Issue
17 Jan 2022

The land burns so hot and high tonight that Let can see its orange glow even from the heart of The City of Birds. It burns so thick she can taste the whole year’s growth of leaves and branches on her lips. It burns so fast she can almost hear the deer and cottontails scream as flames outrun them and devour them whole.
I writhe in bed with fever, chills, chatters and shivers. The near becomes far as the far comes close.
No one gets married before going to space.
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