Blue dress & boots
I remember my heart beating
as dead leaves breezed
up my preadolescent-but-hairy legs
and crescendoed at my genitals.
The lace of my borrowed sister’s frock
so gentle I had not known such tenderness
for my body before. It was hallow October
and I sat in the back of an aggressive yellow bus
to school dressed as my literary hero Pippi Longstocking.
I sashayed and
I was beautiful and
everyone asked who,
not why. The day went on
fleshy pink and so much childhood. We practiced
our cursive letters and I traced her name through
the straight lined highway. Longstocking. My fingers soft,
I accentuated the curves of the L,
We went for recess and I swung my feet under the swing set,
my dress tucked into my crotch. I kicked out my legs
to go higher and my sock frills waved at the other kids
and they waved back. Everyone but Thomas.
He was a strong boy and he brought me behind the
playground fence and smacked me in the eye. I didn’t
hear a word he said, I just let rage fill me up on behalf
of the woman I was pretending to be. I kicked him with my
hairy shin and pinned him down with the weight
of all my undiscovered passion.
that I would someday refuse to pin down into myself
like a strong man does.
By M. Wright
M. Wright is a writer and full-time graduate student. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota and is the winner of Weisman Art Museum’s Poetry ArtWords 2015 contest. His poems have recently been published in Ivory Tower, Pilcrow & Dagger, and the Saint Paul Almanac. In 2017 he will be one of the 24 featured poets in the Saint Paul Almanac’s “Impressions Project” series.