Krista Lukas
  • Krista Lukas
  • Born on the first day of spring the first
  • year of the millennium. Imitator of waitresses
  • and magicians; unpredictable thrower
  • of tantrums; connoisseur of Gummy Bears,
  • vanilla yogurt, and orange juice with calcium;
  • disliker of onions; wearer of snowsuits,
  • heart-shaped sunglasses, and undone braids;
  • speaker of nonsensical phrases; expert snorter;
  • constant storyteller; voracious imaginer
  • of the impossible: backyard roller coasters, airplanes
  • in the living room. Oh, these are my taxes,
  • she says when asked about papers
  • brought home from preschool one day.
  • Moderate taker of naps in the backseats of cars;
  • mess-maker of any room in her path;
  • blue-eyed, fair-haired angel quick-to-turn-
  • miserable scowler; tough-footed sprinter on beaches
  • and lawns; climber of slides; blower of bubbles
  • in bathtubs and swimming pools; granddaughter,
  • great-granddaughter, cousin, and big sister; turner
  • into her mother’s shoulder, turner into her mother’s leg;
  • frequent requester of big tickles and little
  • tickles; answerer of telephones real and pretend;
  • self-appointed CEO of seating arrangements
  • at all tables; drawer of a line in the sand
  • around beach toys and her brother and me.
  • Hey, guys, she says, this is our property line, okay?

A former elementary-school teacher, Krista Lukas is now a Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow and a Gluck Fellow at the University of California, Riverside, where she is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing. Her poems have been broadcast on The Writer’s Almanac and previously published in The Best American Poetry 2006, Creative Writer’s Handbook (5th edition), New Poets of the American West, and in literary journals including Rattle, 5 AM, and New Millennium Writings. “My Niece” appears in her recent collection Fans of My Unconscious, published by Black Rock Press, and is reprinted by permission.

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