Chameleon - UBC's Journal of Children's Literature
v 1 n 1
Spring 2003

Submission Space Current Issue Journal Archive Tell Us What You Think! Coming Events of Note Purchase Printed Hard Copy of Journal? About Us Contact Information Home Page
Go Back A Page Go To Next Page


by Jill Boettger

One sip of tea:
Three hangnails.
Two hours.
I love this tree,
the place I come
for quiet, for bark
against my cheek and under-
standing. Somewhere
on its way to sky
all my thinking
    broken bridges dirt bikes sand candle mothers day
filters through boughs
and is made green.
Everyday my body hurts
    elbows earlobes   hips and jaw
    head and   chest   fingertips  shoulders
in new spots, half a dozen
bowling balls shift
into place inside me,
my body draws a breath,
inches over seconds.
I am so big.
Not a shred
of girlish pout or chub.
The hangnails, scabs
and strands of hair my body
throws away makes food
for bugs by the bottom
of the tree, and I rescue
what's left of this kid
by hauling her up
into branches,
perched like a bird in a broken nest.

Illustration by Lydia Podobnik      
Read by Jill Boettger       

Chameleon: UBC's Journal of Children's Literature

Mail:    Chameleon C/O UBC Creative Writing
Buchanan Room E462, 1866 Main Mall Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z1
Email:    Helen Kuk --
Educational Insights