GIRL ON FIRE by Jeannine Hall Gailey

I love the imagery in this poem, a bit dark, a bit dreamy. Stay tuned for the companion piece to this poem, appearing later this week

Girl on Fire

The Girl

Faces down a swarm

of raging mutant bees and flamethrowers and a crazed man with an axe

and her mother’s dreamy incompetence and her sister’s fragility her inability to survive

The Girl

has to choose between

light and darkness, her boyfriend stands her in path the petals touching his face

her enemies explode into spiderweb her power threatens the world it shimmers with lightning

The Girl

can revive

zombies with her love she touches them and their hearts repair themselves blood rushes

who can regenerate the way she can she will bring down cities she will stop wars with her kiss

The Girl

faces down

problems bigger than herself she never loses faith not with a dagger through her stomach

a gun trained on her skull the ghosts of those she loved she will survive even triumph

she turns towards the screen, and her face itself alight

Jeannine Hall Gailey recently served as the second Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington. She is the author of four books of poetry: Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers, and The Robot Scientist’s Daughter. Her poems appeared in The Iowa Review, The American Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her web site is


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