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Badger’s Bell Collection

This selection is paired with Chapter 4 of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Get NonBinary Review #18 from Zoetic Press. 


If you looked past the glow
of his night kitchen and into his bedroom
you would have noticed them.

He does not keep them behind glass
since a bell without any danger
of ringing is just a thimble.

He has arranged them alternating
biggish and smallish, a wall of undulating
cheer shining even in shadow. Go, look.

If you remarked on the precarious
narrowness of his bell shelf, he would say
he salvaged it and made do,

but really he relishes that this
configuration is just fussy enough
for the most harmonious chaos,

Like me, Badger might say,
though he wouldn’t now as he is
a most private badger who saves

his secrets for under the bells.
He adds new confidants one by one.
He dusts them and becomes a choir.

It takes all sorts to make a world he said
but who’s to say you can’t have favorites?
If you asked him, you would learn

the best of all the sorts
is the small twinkle-drama
tucked just out of frame.


Jenna Jaco is a technical writer from Texas working in visual programming and the internet of things. Her work has most recently appeared in What Fresh Witch is This? and Sweet Tree Review.