Self-Portrait as a Deer Figurine

Known by the rainbows
I fan across grandmother’s shelf,

I shine against the wooden members
of our menagerie. Split from white pine,
carved and sanded—

if you look closely, you can still see
where hands worked them over.

I began as silica, burned and molded
in Flint. I don’t mind

she bought me cheap.
I get to sit by the windowsill
and watch the woodpecker brave winter.

When the sun sets, her cat chases
my moving refractions,
confusing light for substance.

Someday I will be thrown out to the Atlantic,
shattered for a sea-glass fetish.

I will break against rock
and the sand will scrub me smooth.
No one will recognize my face.


Trenton Pollard lives in Queens. He has poems forthcoming in North American Review, Bennington Review, Passages North, and elsewhere.