Bee Smith


I Was A Peculiar Woman Child

After I discovered Emily Dickinson

At age eleven

I took to writing cryptic poems

with a homemade quill,

a seagull feather nib

dipped into a bottle of Quink.


On Sunday nights for Bonanza

I donned a pioneer dress and sunbonnet

made for my sister to wear

in a sesquicentennial pageant.

I liked to immerse myself

In full period dress for TV.


Just as my bosoms budded,

my brothers’ burst into off key renditions

Barbara is Bustin’Out All Over,

twanging the straps of my training bra,

I became obsessed with the past,

the kind at least a century old


before hot pants and halter tops

flip flops on hot sidewalks

the flush of shame at strange men’s eyes

looking at me as I walked down Chestnut Street,

arms loaded with library books,

their wolf whistles sounding like cat calls.



Bee Smith facilitates Word Alchemy Creative Writing Workshops in West Cavan and is on the Irish Art Council’s Writers in Prisons panel. Her articles can be found widely across the blogosphere. She is the author of “Brigid’s Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine” available as an ebook on Amazon. BrigidsWay.

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