Mag Gabbert


Age six I broke
My dad’s girlfriend’s
Snow globe even though
I had begged to hold it

Inside the sphere a fairy sat
With pink wrists and sculpted hair
Of course Neverlands vary or so
I’d been told John lived
In a boat I lived like Wendy
In a house of leaves in a sphere
Of under-grown trees

What was the appeal of that
World those cheap figurines
Encased in glittery overturned
Bowls why was it so satisfying
To see each confetti-light
Snowflake fall on fake leaves

The girlfriend was pregnant
With dad’s baby
Her belly all round and bright
Skin backlit white like the snow
In the globe though it broke
Me to think that inside her
Another pink figure
Was turning

There’s a frozen static to it
The castle always
In the bubble the princess
Kept safe untouchable
Like the tick of a song repeating
White noise the snow
Blankets what it is covering

Then it slipped from my hands
In dad’s kitchen and glass
Scattered nearly invisible
Across the white tile while
Water pooled the kingdom grew
Burstable impossible to hold
Like the Easter Bunny

Or Neverland when
The first baby laughed its laugh
Went skipping but the baby
Wasn’t dad’s anyway not my brother
Like dad had taught me to say
If you just shut your eyes dad had
Lied you may see so I squeezed
Them tight saw a baby hair curly
And blond though I wasn’t
Allowed to hold him I believe
I never

Asked to I only
Watched him waving toward me
His puffy fist opening closing beside
Two blue blurry eyes did I think
They could see the shadow
Hovering the mobile turning
Pale colors coral caves
Suspended reefs trees how each
Leaf seemed to fall from me

Mag Gabbert is currently a PhD candidate in creative writing at Texas Tech University, and she previously received an MFA from The University of California at Riverside. Her essays and poems have been published or are forthcoming in journals including 32 Poems, The Rattling Wall, The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Cleaver Magazine, Sugar House Review, and Sonora Review, among other venues. Mag also serves as an associate editor for Iron Horse Literary Review. For more information, please visit