Dinah Dietrich

Paper Cranes

I remember the art class
when I was ten—
red paper birds—

once the teacher’s daughter
took me upstairs
to her room—
touched me;
touched the beginning
breast bud
that was so tender

she was Japanese,
I did not know her name.
I thank her for giving me this gift,
the gift of the experience,
the gift of the memory.

I remember red paper cranes
that I constructed,
folding just so
until a form
began to emerge,

wings, a beak, a tail—
pull: oh, pull on the tail!
see the wings flap!

lots of paper birds
have flown
from my hands
like poems
into the sky of my life

Dinah Dietrich is the author of PAPER CRANES (Headmistress Press, 2015). Her Pushcart Prize-nominated story, "The Woman Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming," was published in 2012 in Recovering the Self Journal. She has several other publications of individual poems, as well as a column "A Love Letter to My Muse" in elephant journal.