An Ode to Girlhood May 1998

IMG_3015Skipping across the cobblestones

Chalk on sidewalk hopscotch

Tripping unto skinned knees: bruised, crying

Double Dutch jump rope never mastered.

Pigtails, toll house cookies, milk,

Monopoly, Parcheesi;

Operation and Scrabble, fried chicken and

French fries, tie dyes,

Camp athletics, learning to swim, Life,

Candyland, Poker.

Watching Mom and Dad fight and yell

Thinking it was me who put them through hell.

Beatles music, crying, shielded from dying,

Roller skating abortions, Twister game contortions.

Falling, caterwauling, barrettes,make-up, play high heels,

Dollhouses, no fame, only fun and games.

Then school: first day howling separation from Mama

Sitting in the corner with proverbial dunce cap for putting a tack

On the teacher’s chair, like Marvin comic not growing up

Or learning the lesson, so a spanking for discipline–

Many times because I was willful and bad, spoiled,

Doted upon, thinking the world owed me everything

Then growing up, and discovering it wasn’t so.



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