A Room Built With Smallness
Pudding Magazine #60

When Aya holds the cat, she wraps it up
the way most girls would cradle baby dolls.
She lays it on her lap, her arms look thin—
too small for nurturing another frame.

The cat gives no complaints, but it obeys
her infant hands that grip and scold the way
that her own mother brought her soft reproach:
You’re not a doll, don’t climb into the windows.
You drink your milk—don’t spill it on our feet.

She wears the look of mother-fear, the care
of carrying. Her mother bears it still!
That even infant girls are built to heal—
thatAya has her mother’s face so soon.

And what have you to say, you cat? Defend
your size! You are too small for solitude.
And when she sings to you, you do not fight.
You let her dream your destiny for you.

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The Schuylkill Valley Journal publishes poetry, short stories and critical essays. Both the SVJ and SVJ LIT come out twice a year, in the spring and in the fall.
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