by Jeanette Reid

Because I was small, I sought small things,
pebbles, ladybugs, little charms

Because I was small, the world seemed too big
mother’s scowls, daddy’s stumbles at night up the stairs

Because I was small, it was easy to hide
in dark corners, under furniture, in trees

Because I was small, I was often unseen,
seldom heard, like a gnat or a flea

Because I was small I could never compete,
last to be chosen in games

Because I was small I brought sighs to my mother
who dosed me with cod liver oil

Because I was small the dresses she thought
I’d “grow into” were always too large

Because I was small, I felt smaller than small,
smaller and smaller inside

Jeanette Reid taught high school English in Baltimore County, Maryland, where she was also a mother of three. She has lived in Western North Carolina for the past fifteen years, with writing as her main focus for the past ten.

About Small—Attempting to write about an animal, my thoughts centered on a wild stallion that suddenly appeared out of the fog about three feet away from me one early morning on the Outer Banks. The mixture of fascination, fear, and mystery this experience engendered remains fresh after many years.