Mean Girls

When mean girls don’t feel

pretty, they hiss and hurl

words like bolts into beauty.

And if they don’t feel

love, they will watch

for it and strike it down like a viper

upon prey.  With rumors and back

stabbing, hissing lies, little snakes

gather to take down their

victim. Mean girls threatened will hurt

with impunity, slither on the backs

of others. They are so full

of their own emptiness, that they spew

hatred until they crack, and fall

to hollow pieces on the ground, leaving

their dried up skins behind.




we stopped in Vigo, wandered cobblestone streets, and vendors pushed forward

things Americans buy.  i didn’t need Spanish souvenirs, but i watched with an easy smile

as my daughters examined everything that day had to offer – the pottery pigs with silly faces,

and jewelry made from Spanish coins, and little dolls in polka dotted dresses.  delight eased

out of them as they murmured to one another about each rare find, such things they had never seen,

sweet child hands hovering over the tables, picking up each piece as a treasure of new secrets.

and then the little one saw the dress, red with black polka dots and fringe, hanging high above her head.

i saw her wide eyes follow it as it fluffed and blew in the late afternoon harbor breeze. the shop keeper

saw her face, too, and knew it well.  he pulled the red dress down in one motion and had it in her hands.

“You want?  You want?” he pleaded, though her face told everyone nearby.  she looked up, clutching

her dress, already dancing her mind.  handing the shopkeeper the wadded up Euros, she ran down

the cobblestoned hill clutching her dress and giggling, oblivious to the shopkeeper holding out change.

she was already peeling off her shoe and sock by the bottom of the hill, tripping over the cobblestones

and the hem the dress she clutched.  the rest of us, caught up in her glee, trotted behind.  back at the hotel,

we could only sit and watch as she spun and flew in her own private flamenco, eyes closing

to the salsa in her mind.  the fringe swung one way and then another; she didn’t take her eyes

off of it.  she was in Vigo on a balcony in a red polka dotted dress, Spanish dancer for a day.


Sitting Pretty

Sitting pretty in her rocking

chair. Mommy’s pearls draped around

her neck. Bright pink lipstick traces a crooked

oval near her mouth.

Its broken pieces placed

carefully on her pink

 dresser.  She crosses her lacy socked

 feet at the ankles, kicks them out

 and in to make her chair

 rock. A little giggle escapes each time the pearls fly

 out from her dress. She’s not yet heard she’s not

pretty enough or too

short, or her clothes are

plain or teeth crooked or she

weighs too much. Nothing yet to chip

away at the giggles. Keep her here in this pink

room, with Mommy’s pearls, sitting

 pretty in her rocking

chair, as long as you can.