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The Peter Pan Prize, Spring 2011
Jerri Chaplin
Direction (for a child)
Lift a starfish gently off the sand.
Invite him to rest in your
outstretched hand.
(Welcome him.)

Whisper into his toasty
rough-and-ready back:
“Will you be my compass?”

Close your eyes.

Let him lead you to turquoise
sealands
where butterfly wings button
your sunnysoft cotton clothes
and thoughts float light as
lifted feathers.

After your adventures,
he may lead you to a wishbone
you can use as a pillow,
softer than you suppose.

Cradle your head between its thin, white arms
beach-bleached like a seashell
whispering a symphony.
Dreamwish your way to
forever summer.

©2011 Jerri Chaplin