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.