Poem - “Esther, Playing House”
She learns what to want
before she finishes the alphabet –
B, boy. She needs to L love one of those.
Mother is M. Like M, she’ll be a wife.
She doesn’t know that letter,
but it must mean being wrapped
in white like the B bed sheet
she can’t wear on Halloween.
No, a girl (that’s G) means being wrapped
in glitter. Glitter turns G into a P princess.
Boys dress however they like,
but one told her they all carry swords
(S, same as snake). He kicked
playground pebbles at her shins
and yelled, “So we can get you!”
(How can U be P princess?)
At night, she places her favorite doll –
B again, beautiful – inside cardboard
walls, forehead balanced against
sliding glass doors. (No one
can always stand on tip-toe T.)
She’s ready for nightmares – N, like nothing.
She sings her letters, spells a world of wishes
(she should learn that letter).
She’ll keep up her P practice,
become P perfect.