Excerpt from What You Wish For by Ava Leavell Haymon


The following poem appears in our March 2013 Digital Issue. The entire issue is available for digital download.

In first grade print:
1. a trampoline 2. a ball of yarn
3. a rubber snake 4. a top-hat
5. I have a bone collection (no elaboration)
6. a map of the whole world

and, just like that, a globe appears
under the candlelit tree. She’ll spin it
with one hand while doing homework.
A girl who wants to go everywhere
needs lots of facts. She’ll forget it

for a bedtime story when bright eyes
and courage make for happy endings.
A girl who wants to know everything
will find herself in sore need of hope.
After the room goes dark,

the globe begins to rotate on its own,
slowly now, silently, like a real planet.
North Pole tilts away from the warmth
of a familiar sun into deep cold.
It’s Winter, the season for dreams.

AVA LEAVELL HAYMON is a poet, playwright, and teacher. Her poems have appeared in journals nationwide, in Tiferet, Poetry, Prairie Schooner; in five chapbooks from independent small presses; and in three collections, The Strict Economy of Fire, Kitchen Heat, and Why the House is Made of Gingerbread, from LSU Press. She holds the Louisiana Literature prize for poetry in 2003, the L.E. Phillabaum Poetry Award for 2010, and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters 2010 Award in Poetry. She teaches poetry writing in Louisiana and directs a writers’ and artists’ retreat center in New Mexico.

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