by Liz Dolan

Eleven and skittish as a colt,
my granddaughter rears
when her mother says her littlest brother
will master the empty bedroom.
She grabs her pummeled pillows
and, as first born, stakes her claim.

As a toddler she conjured families
from bottles under the sink
Daddy Bleach, Mommie Soap
Baby Cleanser, and fabricated families
of stuffed animals, tooth brushes,
branches, stones, and shells.

Now teetering on the brink
she no longer believes when she runs
sister wings will propel her feet.
But still when she hears her mother read
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows
to her siblings, she torpedoes onto the bed.

Flanked by her sisters, she begins
to waffle on leaving the fold.
Death Eaters and Horcruxes
still wallow in her cluttered closet
and she’s no longer sure that
when she bleeds house elves
will bottle her golden blood.

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