Lucille Lang Day: "Autumn, the Girl"




Autumn Rose makes hoopoes whoop in me.

Daughter of my daughter, four years old,

she draws fairies and writes poetry

about the queen of water. She told

us this kind monarch also rules the day.

In cartoons she scorns mean clouds and monsters

who snarl or roar, preferring bears who play

fair with friends and mice who become dancers.


Yet she speaks knowingly of pterodactyls

and getting good jobs with an MBA.

She doesn’t shy away from things like fractals

at the science center high above the bay,

which shines like metal as the sun goes down

and she proclaims, “The queen has on her crown!”


Lucille Lang Day's poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in many literary publications, including Atlanta Review, Calyx, Chattahoochee Review, Eclipse, Gihon River Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Hudson Review, Istanbul Literary Review, Nimrod, Passages North, Pennsylvania English, Poet Lore, Poetry Flash, River Oak Review, River Styx, Spillway, Tar River Poetry, The Threepenny Review, Waccamaw, and  ZYZZYVA. She has received a number of literary awards, including the 2009 Willow Review Award for Creative Nonfiction and a Notable Essay citation in Best American Essays 2010. Day is the author of a children’s book and eight poetry collections and chapbooks, including Self-Portrait with Hand Microscope, which was selected by Robert Pinsky for the Joseph Henry Jackson Award. Her memoir, Married at Fourteen, will be published in 2012.