It begins in the back
garden. ripping up weeds
like being 8 years old... [+]
I was born, Mom says, dollhouse-
ready, pre-Barbie hair a field
of curls, the early bird that, sealed
in plastic, cried like grouse
or pheasant chicks between
my ribcage-rattling hiccup fits
that never ever called it quits
until my kidney bean
lungs grew. My golden locks
soon draped my back and dwarfed my arms.
I screamed like twenty fire alarms
when hands arrived in flocks
to pet and pull my hair.
They called me Goldilocks. I called
myself Fun-Size and fled, appalled,
from fingers that would dare
to yank my ponytail.
This shorty squad member still stands
as tall as ever. She withstands
the names that fall like hail
against her ears and knows
that everyone will look the same
six feet under. Forget my name.
I’m bound to decompose.