What do you do? He wore his leather jacket to school,
Pulled the fire alarm, felt up one of the nuns.
Detention was a time to draw rocketships
Or racecars. He liked things that go fast (skateboards),
Things that were secret (cellars), things that squealed
(Mice mostly, but also hamsters). He never harmed them
But put them in desks, purses, girls' hair.
He read books on poisonous mushrooms and making bombs.
What do you do? Tell him, you are a doll
Created from sticks and feathers? Go back where
You came from? He would grin, get your daughter pregnant,
Set your barn on fire.
About the Author: Theodora Goss's poetry and short stories have appeared in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Polyphony, Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, and other publications.
"The Changeling" first appeared in The Rose and Twelve Petals by Theodora Goss. The poem is copyright © 2004 by Theodora Goss, and may not be reproduced in any form without the author's express written permission.