The Size of Angels

Big angels would be like John Travolta
in the movie “Michael”—maybe not so scruffy,
but burly in that middle-American kind of way.
Or big like Gabriel encompassing Mary,
the bearer of grandiose news, divine light, salvation.

On the day my mother tells me I had a big angel
in childhood: the survival of a disease
that temporarily took my legs and almost
snatched my five-year-old heartbeat,
I tell you I like small angels better—angels
with small hands that play all the chords
like rain. Small, like invisible
particles in night air: a god dispersed
in our terrifically tangled human loves.

Genevieve Creedon is a poet, scholar, and non-fiction writer. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine and her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. Her work appears or is forthcoming in About Place, Configurations, Narrative Northeast, and Still. She teaches writing and directs the Writing Center at Princeton University.