On Being


A Woman


by Victoria Olsen

Orange fingernails long,

A Queen of the Nile.

Eyelids lined boldly

A practiced shy smile.


She tucks in her tummy

And outlines her lips.

She glares in the mirror

At the shape of her hips

As she asks herself, Why?


Her breasts are not fuller

Her blonde hair isn’t shiny

She can’t erase freckles

And her voice becomes whiny?


“I NEED a bright colored Band-Aid

To cover these scratches…

And I’ll look in my drawers

For a hair clip that matches.”


She takes out her comb

And makes her hair poufy

And colors her cheeks

Then decides she looks goofy


She dampens a washcloth

And scrubs her face bare.

Plastic nails peel off quickly,

She unteases her hair.


Waving good-bye to her lover,

“Future husband!” she’ll say.

He’s on a rock ‘n roll poster

“But I’ll meet him one day!”


Its time for her school bus

Ten minutes past seven

The woman is blossoming

But she’s still only eleven.

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