Grandfather and Granddaughter (Age 5) by Beth Cato

the reasons for his limp
change with each visit:
a Hun bullet from Ardennes

scars from a harpy’s claws
when he was adrift off Malta

a dirigible crash near Rainier

a hard kick as he freed a pegasus
from a circus outside Lincoln

grandma’s hard swing with a frying pan
(she practiced by swatting fairies)

whatever the reason
the girl’s kiss to his bald spot
zings the perfect dose of magic
straight to his leg
causes him to drop his cane
and rise like Lazarus
“It’s a miracle!” he cries
as she giggles

“I’ll be back in a week to make you better,”
she always says at the door

grandpa nods as he nestles in his chair

Beth Cato is the author of THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER, a steampunk fantasy novel from Harper Voyager. Her poetry can be found in Apex Magazine, Mythic Delirium, and many other magazines. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat. Her website is

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