Two Poems

by Julie Brooks Barbour

Girl Becomes Ghost

I could not convince other children
I existed. I was a specter who

punted the ball only a few feet

as if a strong wind moved it.
When I sang in the classroom,

the teacher thought my voice

another girl’s, even if I belted notes.
When I grew older and a man claimed

my words too quiet, I became angry

and slammed a door. He thought
a gust forced it shut. I wanted

to become loud as thunder

and darken skies, make people
run for shelter. I heard only

my breath, the softest sound.

Mouse at the Door

Everyone grows taller than me
and wears accomplishments like costumes,

parading in their finery. I wave my small flag
at each procession. I walk home in the dark,

notice my footsteps make no sound on the pavement
while the footfalls of others echo down the street.

I am barely tall enough to unlock my door
or turn the knob, and cannot grip

with such small hands. For an hour I consider
my insignificance, mouse at the door.

I find a crate for reaching and gloves for grasping.
It is a minor accomplishment. I name it mine.
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About Julie Brooks Barbour

Julie Brooks Barbour is the author of Small Chimes (Aldrich Press, 2014) and three chapbooks, most recently Beautifully Whole (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, forthcoming 2015). Her poems have appeared in Waccamaw, Four Way Review, diode, storySouth, UCity Review, Prime Number Magazine, burntdistrict, The Rumpus, Midwestern Gothic, and Verse Daily. She is co-editor of Border Crossing and Poetry Editor at Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. She teaches composition and creative writing at Lake Superior State University.

Julie Brooks Barbour

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