By Julia Kemp

She dreams more often than she sleeps
She lays awake every weekday night
Red-nosed and blurry-eyed
Pretending is the only way she’s real

She doesn’t stop singing
She doesn’t stop dancing
Forever on a wooden stage
A never-ending magic act
You never look her way
You never applaud
As she pulls rabbit after rabbit
Out of her satin hat

She knows that the trees still fall
That they scream in agonizing timber
When no one’s around
But you don’t hear
So you don’t care
That the timeworn oak has fallen

She makes faces out of every store window
Strangers pass by in an unfaltering rush
She doesn’t know that the windows are tinted
You know, but don’t tell her
She makes faces until her cheeks hurt
And you watch

You tell her you’re sad
You need her
She wraps her arms around you
In a warm and doting embrace
You tell her
too tight
And walk away
And she’s alone again