Posts Tagged ‘girl



in the Dark
at the back of the cupboard I found
a Potato you left behind
when you left me to clean up your mess
when you left me

it was small and soft, a little shriveled,
its Heart was Dark like yours mother.

(Women and vegetables rot from the inside,
you said, and who would know better than you?)
the sprouts were thin and white
fragile as frostbitten fingers
fragile as the feelers of a cockroach

sniffing for danger and probing for food
as you probed, looking for soft spots,
for openings in my hard upper layers,
places for your cuttings to sprout and not heal.

Think for yourself, you said, but
How? With your words wrapped
around my thoughts–
tentacles of an octopus Mother.
you– made me a vacuum, sucking up
Crumbs of Affection
from whomever might drop them.
now you’re gone and a

vacuum remains pulling me apart like cobwebs,
a dandelion when it’s gone to seed,
a Potato, unpierced by love, left in the microwave

Until it explodes.

(The “assignment” was to write a poem in the manner of Sylvia Plath. I’m not fond of most of her poetry because it’s so dark and melodramatic but here’s my best shot. It’s also my first draft so feel free to make constructive comments.)


Cornflower Blue

When she opened the box we were her favorites-
Cornflower Blue and Indian Red.
Together we made summer skies and meadows,
Blue baby doll eyes, teddy bears, and hay-filled barns.
Other colors came along and she tried them-
Macaroni and Cheese, Tumbleweed, Tickle Me Pink-
But we were the ones she carried in her pocket
After carefully honing our points with the sharpener in the back of the box.
In ’99 old Indian Red was replaced with Chestnut.
Thistle and Maize went away; their colors and names were too dull.
I’ve hung around as long as I could
Although she peeled off the last of my label several years ago.
Today I got rolled off the table and stepped on.
My pieces were ground into the classroom rug.
Through the window I can see a patch of the sky
She used to think I was the color of.


Little Boys/Little Girls

Little Boys
they’re not supposed to
wear Mom’s make-up so how come
girls can shoot toy guns

Little Girls
go on. play doctor
but when you grow up people
will still yell “hey, nurse!”


So Much Depends

so much
depends upon an orange flag
held out stiffly
by a girl with rain-stringy hair
and her
big sister’s flowered galoshes

(Inspired by William Carlos Williams and the afternoon Safety Patrol)


Going To Bed With Wet Hair

My grandmother could never go to bed with wet hair;
She said It made her feel ill and kind of feverish.
She preferred to wash it in the morning then while it
Was still a little damp she coiled it into a snail’s shell
On the back of her head, piercing it and attempting to lock it
Into place with a dozen or more bobby-pins she held in her teeth.
When I was a little girl I dreamed of drawing my hair over one shoulder,
Weaving it into long snakey plaits- like Rapunzel
Or the daughters in the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder-
Allowing it to dry overnight before snipping the bands
The next morning, releasing an ocean of golden waves
To trail enticingly from a tower window.
Usually I lacked the patience to allow my hair to grow;
The few times my hair was long enough to finally braid,
My arms would get too tired to finish it.
These days I’m more accepting of myself and I wear my hair shorter.
But I could never go to bed with still wet hair.
I’ve woken up too many mornings with one side looking starched
While the other was run about in by small children with dirty feet.