A children’s poem inspired by “My Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson.
My Little Alien
I have a little alien that hangs around with me.
He likes to hide when Mom’s around, afraid that she will see.
Sometimes he is quite careless and I have to take the blame—
I couldn’t tattle, though, because he won’t tell me his name.
He likes to gather bits of things like wiring and metal.
Sometimes I find I’m missing parts like my bicycle pedal.
If I could speak his language I’d ask why he needs that stuff,
I’m out of space in my room ‘cause he never has enough.
The funniest thing about him is the things he seems to know,
Like rocketry and physics and the way to make things go.
He seems to be constructing something complicated, large,
And doing lots of research, ‘cause my laptop’s lost its charge
He hasn’t any interest in what other children play.
He won’t join in our games of tag and wants to work all day.
But he can’t go off without me and just tinker by himself—
He is too short to reach things that are on the highest shelf.
One morning, in the darkness and the chill before the dawn.
There came a roar of fire and force emitting from our lawn.
My alien had stayed up late and finished his spaceship!
I watched it rise until it simply vanished with a blip.
I hope he makes it home, although I know the trip is long.
He is so small and space so vast, but he is brave and strong.
He never showed me in the sky where I could find his planet.
The postal service doesn’t go to other stars, now, can it?
Someday, perhaps, he will come back and take me up in space.
Together, we’ll explore and find some new, exciting place.
For now, I watch the stars at night for signs my friend’s in orbit.
I’d tell the truth to Mom and Dad but doubt they could absorb it.
Liz Rees-Jones is a young adult novelist living in Philadelphia and a lover of fantasy and weird fiction.