“Exchanged” by Elizabeth Kestrel Rogers

“Exchanged” by Elizabeth Kestrel Rogers

One child exchanged for another
A cruel trick to play
But one unnoticed

Then the girl came of age, lungs weak
Her cry was pitiable
Oxygen cannulas ran from her nose
To her life force, her tank

But loved, so loved
A rich life, not measured in breaths
Though so many told her she should.

They came to take her back
Decked in finery, ears pointed, eyes cruel
Their court demanded her back
Lured her in with songs and tales
Of a life lived forever, of healing magic

To which she looked at all she held dear
Mother, father, friends.
Accomplishments pinned up on the wall
All to say “fuck you” to her ravaged body

She held their offer in mind
Their dreams of gold and dancing
And from her lips fell
The “no.”

Elizabeth Kestrel Rogers is a California-based writer and former competitive archer. In her free time, she likes to look for snakes. You can find her on Twitter @KestrelUnicorn.