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            after Genesis 3:7

who bounced me on his knee and hummed
the William Tell Overture to make me a horse,
who amazed me with the garage of treasures
that he rescued and repaired from the flea market,
who talked to every stranger like an old friend,
who was impossible to capture in crayon: burnt
sienna skin was close, but no silver matched
his hair. While he was at work, I watched
Sesame Street and played with Granny, downed
cup after cup of apple juice and tended my cats,
dogs, and dolls in neat rows on the floral couch.
I still remember the moment I heard his tires
crunch into the driveway, and I thought
for the first time, “I need clothes!” I’d always
run freely at their house before, but somehow,
suddenly, I felt a new need to cover my skin,
not knowing why, not realizing what I’d lost.

Photo by Deric on Unsplash

Katie Manning

Katie Manning is the founding editor of Whale Road Review and a professor of writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She is the author of Tasty Other (Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, 2016), and her latest chapbook is How to Play (Louisiana Literature Press, 2022). Her poem “What to Expect” was recently featured on the Poetry Unbound podcast. Find her online at

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