Real Live Boy

Sarah Lindsay

And so Pinocchio the wooden puppet
became living flesh,
as he wished. The first

of many surprises. His palms were soft,
sometimes grew wet,
and when a splinter of wood
slid into his skin,

it didn’t feel friendly there. Not one
of his eager dreams had mentioned
that a real boy couldn’t remove his foot

whenever it broke
and peg on a new one,
or that he wouldn’t understand
the fiddle’s words anymore.

He was no longer remarkable,
though often amazed
at how the parts of his new spine found

so many ways of aching, or how,
in the pit of winter,
the bellows in his chest grew heavy with phlegm,

how the dog in his belly yelped for bread
when there was none,

how sleep ruled him
when he had meant
to work all night again
on his wooden Geppetto.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro
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SARAH LINDSAY is the author of two books in the Grove Press Poetry Series: Mount Clutter (2002) and Primate Behavior (1997), a finalist for the National Book Award. She has published poems in The Atlantic, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, and other journals. She lives and works in Greensboro, NC.