The City

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
May/June 2013

By Hazel Wechsler

Over the drone of the fan,
I heard something,
a lilting chord of circus music.
My mother continued muttering into the phone,
but my sister heard it, too.
Her eyes lit up with an idea.

Suddenly, the air was heavy
with the exhaust of golden air ships.

The rusty rabbit cage
was rising,
spiraling into
the steel skeleton of a skyscraper.
The trees grew bricks
and sprouted grimy windows.

And the lilac bush
was a half-mad hypnotist,
hunched into the shape
of, yes, a bush.
A grasshopper was no ordinary insect,
but a mechanical spy
of the city’s tyrannical king.

The stories wormed through our heads,
until reality had a mask
of dusty alleyways and circuses.
My sister’s face morphed a thousand times,
into thieves and goblins,
magicians and merchants,
the citizens
of the world
that we built,
together.

Then our mom called for us,
we noticed the moon overhead.
The city shrunk back
to its mundane foundation.

Now, as my sister texts and studies,
I walk the empty streets of the twilight city.

The City Hazel Wechsler

Hazel Wechsler, 13
Boonsboro, Maryland

About the Author

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