What it Takes

by Jack Myers

The smart ones think
they can climb
with their brains.

The talented ones
slide halfway up
without trying.

Those who merely feel
deeply drown
in their own syrup.

But the quiet girl
from Bangladesh
who fled here alone

reads her poem
about a tea party
she had as a child.

She fills each cup
with tiny white flowers
then re-paints her
imaginary guests’
chipped red fingernails red.