Bird Introduces Herself

Grace Schauer

Queer Is...

I was born once—in a park or a fruit grove or a red-brick house or a closed eye, I don't care.  I climbed a tree until it thinned to nothing and its branches cracked and fell.  I said I'd stay there til the sound of breaking brought me down.  No shrinking violet, I hid from the world to better see it.  The way I played ball as a kid but never scored, never dared to, hurling free throw after failed free throw until the air horn scorched my ears like nails on blackboard, like the walls of stacked bleachers opened and closed and the long hooked pole the janitor spun in his hands to raise the backboards—see?  
The strangeness was the only part I wanted.

Grace Schauer holds an MFA from Emerson College and a BA in English from the University of Mary Washington.  A Florida native, she grew up outside Washington, DC.  Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares and Breakwater Review, and she has written for Redivider.  She lives and works in the Boston area.