Little Fly

by Rebecca Pelky

And what mother wouldn’t
thieve? Just a little.

We’d never miss a penny’s worth
of copper licked from our skin.

Every day she risks
the hard palm. So fragile,

these thin limbs, belly blown,
each sister dapped

in concentric ripples. Pop
one rivet from the wing

and all is lost. She tells them
stories—rancid water in the hold,

and caribou swarms. In drought,
she coaxes them to sleep,

and bites for blood,
as only mothers can.

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