When I was young, I gazed at a tree
and knew if I didn’t start climbing,

I’d never get another chance. My smaller body
was in a red and black dress, white tights

that snagged on the branches. By the time
the adults took notice, my feet

were above their heads, the reaching
fingers. In my mind, that moment is

a woman slipping through

a pinhole—tomorrow when she wakes up,
the world is gone. Something will be missing.

In one of my dreams, a high school teacher
approaches me and says, here, write this down,

write this down, only so much wind can
arrive through a pinhole
. A pause, and I said, right,

only so many birds can survive
in a young girl’s Sunday dress



About mckenzielynntozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in Indiana, where she works as a virtual assistant, editor, and freelance writer via her self-started business, MLT Creative. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University, where she worked as the Layout and Design Editor for New Issues Poetry and Prose and as an Assistant Poetry Editor for Third Coast. She previously completed her B.S. in Secondary English Education and B.A. in English, with a Concentration in Writing, at Indiana University South Bend, where she worked as the Managing Editor for 42 Miles Press. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Encore Magazine, Thank You for Swallowing, The Spooklet, Sleet Magazine, and Analecta, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared on The Rumpus and Motherly. When not writing, she enjoys art and music, and the simple mathematics of being a wife of one, a mama of two, and a cat-mom of three. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com. View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

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