The Asterisk

  • Photo of Lauren Geiger on a boat

Lauren Geiger

A Gnomic Nomad’s Quest for World Change


I want to be a gnome who lives inside

a mushroom red with green translucent flecks.

When lonely I imagine I’m an elf

with old white beard and green accordion

that plays a tarantella for bumble bees—

an antique English postcard I once saw

within a junk shop in a mountain town.

My den will be a workshop where I’ll build

tin music boxes chiming mountain song.


My mushroom’s Tudor windows will glow bright

like glass panes in a forest chapel, stained

with green of hickory nut, ripe red rosy

tomato heart, dyes I will jar to craft

mementos like 3-D gnome stickers I won

from Bingo!, pasted on a skateboard’s wheels,

and watched from weedy wall the sparkles whir

while they swooped across the drained reservoir

behind the old graffitied Burger King.


I want to be the chubby woodland gnome

within the oval freezer magnet spied

from Ms. Theresa’s dinette where we drink

papaya juice with orange straws, and chat

so that I quit feeling a gawky fourteen.

She wrings her hands, four sons away at war,

and fills her hallways full with hymns.

I’ll climb from cartoon trees, through proud report

cards, red to-do lists to ask her to dance.


I’ll pack deflated hives with lucky loot:

a flute,  mask made from stray blue bird feathers,

a spool of spider string, oak leaf bouquet

to leave atop a roadside loveseat’s seat,

to tack to tele-poles beneath “Lost Cat”,

and I will soothe the aches of jaded eyes

with gemstone tones, the knowledge of a gnome.


A Gnomic Nomad’s Quest for World Change




Creative Writing; German