1826 by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

1826

At four years old
he couldn’t speak,
couldn’t stand.

She watched him,
the word
changeling
hiding just behind
her lips.

She bathed him
in the Flesk.
Once.
Twice.
On the third time
the water filled his mouth.

She swore she had only
been trying to drive
the fairy
from him.


Helen Vivienne Fletcher’s poetry has appeared in online and print publications. She’s recently turned her hand to writing for the stage with her first play How to Catch a Grim Reaper, for which she was named Outstanding New Playwright at the Wellington Theatre Awards. She also writes for children, and is a previous recipient of the WCBA New Pacific Studios residency. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand where she teaches creative writing classes for children.

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