Losing Marbles, Finding Unicorns

“Lost and Found”

What do we find

when we’re not looking for it?

The marbles

we thought we’d lost,

which had simply

rolled away –

tucked behind

a dusty quiet shelf,

patiently waiting

for us

to be ready

to see them again.

Maybe, at the bottom of a box,


once halter to a unicorn?

But we took the halter off,

when we realized

the unicorn

would rather run,

and sing to us

as we ran with it,

singing along.

Maybe we find

old letters,

warm like feather pillows,

smelling of cinnamon and memories.

The letters make us

smile and cry at once,

but mostly feel

as though our hearts

are being hugged,


Smiling, we tuck

the shining marbles we never lost

into our pockets,

tie the shoelaces –

suddenly gold ribbons –

into a crown of flowers for our heads,

burn the letters

as a torch to light our way,

and set out

beside the unicorn,


~ Marta Ziemelis. Written in Dubai, copyright February 2012.

One day I lost something small in my room. The only reason I remember the occasion is because while searching, I began to think about the different ways in which people might react to losing objects. This whimsical piece, which I’m fairly sure came mostly from my inner child, was the result. A couple of months later, I read it to an audience of elementary school students, who seemed mostly appreciative (although I suspect that they liked my poem about a tiny dragon better!) Enjoy! 🙂