The Changeling

I can’t say what it was that came in the night

and switched the child with something other,

but in the morning there was skin and hair

and bones in the bed in a size much larger

than what was tucked in, and the me that

I’d been was gone, a changeling in my place.


It rose sluggish and sour to pull on clothes

that couldn’t fit, popping buttons and seams,

crushing my shoes with heavy feet that went

clomping about the house unnoticed but for

the maternal admonition to brush its mane

and try some deodorant, dear, please.


In the afternoon it wandered outside and sat

beside a tangle of bearded iris on which a

cicada husk clung upside down and empty

after the emerging adult had split the back to

unfurl a pair of heavy wet wings that dried

into Tiffany glass masterworks.


With my eyes the changeling saw that hope

is the critter that crawls through the rift

when transfiguration rips us open, but when

everything changes, in the instant between

one form and another, we wondered, which

or what or who is driving that thing?


© Dana Hughes 9.12.16

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