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She goes into trances in moments of chaos: a rowdy classroom, an indecipherable assignment: “Draw your dream city. Okay then, your dream bed?” This one grabs her, and she’s off, shellacking the paper with Crayola. She draws a bedspread charted with “ROY G. BIV”-colors. Pillows are piled like stacks of Now n’ Laters, or the gradient colors of wrapped gum sticks in a pack of Fruit Stripes. She confides to me of course her real bed is a lot messier, but they are moving, her mother and her, and anyway it’s a dream of hers to have a rainbow bedspread. 

I don’t think she even likes Hannah Montana. Already I see her mom with her at the grocery bakery a week ago. She wants a blue one. There are no plain-Jane blue cakes in the store. “Well how about Hannah Montana, then?” her mom sighs. “It’s got blue on it, honey.” It’s the way that, at five, Sianna might roll her eyes, or simply say yes to be done with it.

The whole class is singing Happy Birthday—sixty-seven in all, including the teachers, parents, and grandparents—and Sianna stands in front of the Hannah Montana sheet cake like she’s waiting in line for something inevitable and monotonous. Across the room she catches my eye; I smile, because I like her, because she reminds me of the old home movies my parents took when I was her age. Her eyes dremmel through me as though two blue bullets.


Colleen Maynard is a Kansas City-based, to-be-Illinois based poet and visual artist. Her art-writing has previously been published in such places as the Australian-based Ceramic Art and Perception.  She is currently working on a chapbook containing prose and drawings.

Read more stories by Colleen Maynard


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