“Stoppers” “Little Alien” & “Toys”


Is it a roofing nail? Its

point meant to fill

a cervix. Later, with legs

splayed to lock it in.

Next a witch’s wand,

its head with a crown

to dig in. Which it did,

making women sterile.

The squiggle followed,

meant to soften our

opinions. Touching its tail

every month means you re


Shaped alter the key men

use to shut off water,

wrapped in copper coils (a

natural spermicide) is the

letter T.

Women think

of all the letters

left to try.

And who invented

the gun to propel it into


Russ Meyers? Another

excuse to shoot her in the


Little Alien

When they found you

where you shouldn’t have

been, lcnee-deep in a pile of guts like Trump

warned, you looked shocked and afraid.

You were supposed to

stay put, not migrate to

places you weren’t welcomed.

You were given a good job to doโ€”you failed.

We’ve traced your path,

noted all the damage

you’ve done, and

repaired as much as we

could. But all is lostโ€”a

barren desert.

We will be blamed for

bringing you hereโ€”for

the job you didn’t do and

the damage you did do.

And don’t try to blame

us for pushing you too

hard, driving you to where

we found you. Others,

like you, didn’t abandon

their posts. This is on you.


First it was the giant

towering Space Needle

darkening a pink sky. He

was afraid when

it moved like a huge

hypodermic syringe

floating in his warm

pee-filled sea.

A doctor would call

it a foreign body. When it

shrunk, tiny as a hand-tied

fly, the baby kicked it.

The IUD was inside his

fist when he was born. It

was his. He couldn’t give

up his first toy.

Look at the family portrait,

how big he is, towering over

his shrinking mother, smiling

in his military best.

Not surprising he became a

sheriff, the feel of metal in

his hand, so primal

according to Freud.

His woman, a wiry

copper-headed beauty

with springy curls, is his newest toy.

Sandra Sylvia Nelson has had work in many magazines including The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry Northwest, Yankee, The North American Review, The Iowa Review, and Ms. Magazine. She’s in Hard Choices an anthology by The Iowa Review and in the textbook Exploring Literature by Longman Press for the past 20 years.