Sap Change


I was merely small then;

a nervous, chatter-toothed scramble

of fur going up the old sycamore,

a puff-tailed scurry across


the courtyard. I used to jump, too.

Unfurling the sail of my body

mid-air, I never doubted

the next branch would be there.


The day she dragged me down, I never

doubted the next up, despite the marble

weight of the hand on the back of my neck.


She began to scrub; I thought

of how pine needles tickled along

my belly. My fur collected on the shiny

floor; I saw their dried husks blanketing


the cold ground. It wasn’t until she broke

skin that I started to shrink. The walls

of the shower rose up around me;

raw, shivering, I cried like a wild thing.


Ellie White holds a BA in English from The Ohio State University, and is currently an MFA candidate at Old Dominion University. Her poems have been published in Antiphon Poetry Magazine and Melancholy Hyperbole, as well as other journals. She currently lives among mermaids in Norfolk, Virginia.