My nose is a geyser gushing blood.

Red stains my palms, dots my shirt. Bible study ceases


as my first grade teacher ushers me

to the office, where the school nurse tilts my head backward.


I taste liquid pennies, press a wad

of tissues hard against my face. The nurse sees my rings,


several on each hand: painted glass

set in alloyed metal that turns my skin dingy green.


“You look like a Gypsy,” she tells me.

Her thin lipsticked mouth glowers, copying Mr. Yuk.


© M. Stone


Bio:  M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry and fiction while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared or will appear in SOFTBLOW, Calamus Journal, and Amaryllis. She can be reached at