Little Creatures

After Fiona Lee Graham’s Nature’s Calling, 2023

What’s up with the guy with two heads?
I’d made a habit of thinking too hard
about my daughter’s paintings.
But today they were particularly striking.
She went up and down the page with ease,
satchels and emblems of blue
dispensing from her brushes.
Little creatures twiddled at their tips.

What’s up with the guy with two heads?
Maybe I expected a normal answer, an answer
verging on the eerie — It’s you, silly!
the way daughters are known to speak to their mothers.

But she said nothing. She was possessed,
like something was moving her hand. There were two heads,
then four. The paintings shadowed a myriad of

Any fool could see she was no ordinary child.
I hung her pictures in the world,
the world’s galleries. I’m not a bad mother, but

I signed them with my name. Soon poets came
to write about them.

The artwork that inspired this piece is currently still under copyright, you can view it online here. The featured artwork in its place was commissioned by bad apple from Mickie Loof for the 2023 Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.


In a dream, you saw a way to survive, and you were filled with joy.


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