She wore floppy sun hats, tube
tops, and clogs. She kept her nails
long, polished and pink—her hair
cut short, save for the rat tail
to piss off my grandmother
who once said goodbye, scissors
in hand, as my godmother /
aunt walked out of the back door
of her parents’ house. She drove
a lime green VW Bug
with tan interior
and one passenger: a purse
like Mary Poppins. She smelled
of suntan and Lucky Strike.
She took me to the movie
Harriet the Spy, bought me
my own black and white notebook;
taught me how to play toothpick
poker; gave me my first charm
bracelet with a 10½
because, she whispered so close
I could see her silver tooth,
on a scale of one to ten,
you are a ten and a half—
my favorite. I told her
she shouldn’t say that; she should
love her family equally.
But it isn’t true, isn’t true.
Anna Harris-Parker‘s poems have appeared have appeared or are forthcoming in AMP, Cellpoems, Slant, and other journals. Her chapbook, Dress, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag. She teaches at Augusta University, where she also directs Writers Weekend and advises Sand Hills literary magazine. She lives in Georgia with her husband and their two dogs.