not me

white girl growing up
in the fifties stripped
of deciduous & coniferous vitality
homogenous plopped
down like tract houses
on a parched surface
i hugged the bark & pulled
myself up the branches
beyond the giggles of barbie
her unresistant breasts pointing at ken
beyond the lessons from my mother
stuck in her own spotless sludge of suburbia
stuck in her own jaded morass of traded power —
white girl hearing
the language of bulldozers
framed in publicpressrelease-ease,
marraigeable marraigeable marraigeable
not me
white girl stick legged can’t
dance or laugh
too loud white gloves and knees
pressed together
not me
goodgirlspeak by rote
not me
how the 50’s clung
to those last whitegirl rules
putrid & false & stinking in starch
before the Pill came imploding
a tired plastic ettiquette
before breasts popped out
of their pointed brassieres
before reefer & janice & angela
breaking free
not me
not me
not me

wendy shaffer

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