To Kailee (From Irie)

by James Croal Jackson

I know the risks when I make the journey– 
after running through shadows beneath dark 
desk, I must evade the heavy stomping 
of giants who do not see me and black 
wheels that zag back and forth on 
the bottom of a bony leather rolling 
chair. And if I can get past that,
there’s the barren carpet desert,
a field of dust kicking up exhaust
to sneeze. I huff and puff past junk 
I’m told is poison yet I always want 
to eat– crumbs from a swan 
sandwich, push pins, script meat. 
And at the edge of the expanse I am 
out of breath with miles to go– 
a table ten towers tall to run under. 
I close my eyes and sprint until
the window by where you sit 
and I tap you on the shoe. 
After you call my name 
I say that’s me! then
your palms become a 
cradle lifting me to lap
where the world is warm 
honey sunshine. 
After hours and hours
to rest and recover–
you glide me over
towers, the dust field, 
the rolling chair, the stomping
shoes, the shadows, like these
obstacles were nothing when 
you place me back in my blanket.
For you, bringing me home
is the easiest thing in the world.


James Croal Jackson works in film production. His most recent chapbooks are Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022) and Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021). Recent poems are in Stirring, SAND, and Vilas Avenue. He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (