writer – librarian – word wrangler

Alien Delivery

You delivered your alien today.

Nestled on your squishy, drool-stained yellow pillow

Carried gingerly in a produce box.


I offered to lift it over the streaming heads of students from bus 27.

You smiled your steely refusal, waited patiently for the sea of backpacks to ring around you.

You had learned about surviving on Jupiter. I had to learn about being Pluto.


Adorned with adaptations

to Jupiter’s hot gaseous atmosphere,

Jake emerged from your electric brain.

Created from “items recycled from your household,”

he had to be able to stand up to gravity,

the stares of your classmates and

the teacher’s grading rubric.


You worried so deeply before it was due,

churning the sheets in your sleep.

What would happen if something went wrong?

If it dropped to the floor and was trampled by fourth grade feet?

Or worse.

What if nothing went wrong and Jake was crushed beneath the weight of your expectations?

What if you couldn’t answer their questions?

What if no one had any questions?

What if your brain could stop being so mean to you?


Because your adaptations to this planet, my sweet girl, are weighing you down.

Spinning faster to hide the huge hole in your heart has altered your orbit,

leaving you with scorching Mercury days and inky Neptune nights.

I want to fill that hole with a glue gun and cover it with duct tape.

But I am Pluto now, seemingly outside the reach of your center of gravity.

Yet, I will always feel its pull.


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