Autumn 2007 Volume One Issue Four

What You Should Call Us - Elizabeth Barrette

After you came, I came.

I was minding my own business,
Walking through the autumn wood,
When I heard the screams.

I went running through the trees,
But by the time I got there,
Your men had finished with their sport
And gone their way.

What was there to do
But wrap the poor girl in my cloak,
Though she cried when she
Saw the "wicked gypsy" come
Running down the hill?

What was there to do
But give the poor horse
My last apple, and try to groom
Some of the mud off his white legs
And straighten his tangled silver tack?

What was there to do
But help the poor genie
Gather up the shards of his bottle,
Though I cut my clumsy fingers
Sifting through the yellow leaves?

An hour later,
We all reached the camp:
There was my sister's second-best dress
And a bucket of hot mash and a blanket
And Gran with her pot of glue
To make everything better.

If the girl fell in love with me,
And the horse is happier dancing in a show,
And the genie granted us three wishes times three
In gratitude, then it's no more
Than one good turn deserves another.

So don't call us thieves, gaudjo.
What you should call us is garbagemen - -
We only take what you throw away.

- END -

Elizabeth Barrette has published over 330 poems published in more than 90 markets. Recent publications include "A Chrome Attic" in Not One of Us, "Pearls Before Swine" in Star*Line, and "Noplace Like Home" in Strange Horizons. She edits PanGaia magazine, which includes selecting the poetry. She teaches a four- part poetry class at the Grey School of Wizardry.

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