Wednesday, January 6, 2010


a cheerleader, never
hot in high school
because each Sadie
Hawkins dance or
Junior Women’s
club party meant
having to ask one
boy after another
who turned me down.
Because I was fat,
no beautiful body
like the girl who’d
lose her face when a
car tried to merge
with it. Because I
was Miss Middlebury
High, not for being
popular or my looks
but for winning art
and science contests,
I thought only the
pretty, skinny girls
deserved clothes,
worked for months
on my science project
of the eye as if to say
Look at Me. The pink
pique dress in my
uncle’s store seemed
too beautiful for me.
When I fell for one
boy and he dropped
me I lost 40 pounds
and boys in Hillel,
with so few Jewish
girls in town, began
to ask me out. But
tho there were many,
I still see myself as
that shy plump hardly
popular girl in glasses
who turned red when
Mr. Dewey weighed
us in class and boomed
our weight out. He might
as well have had a loud
speaker. I never felt I
had a time to be pretty.
Skinny was supreme.
Now I look at the young
girls in strapless dresses,
their beautiful arms. So
if I buy clothes more
appropriate for a thinner
me than I was, leave my
hair long, in spite of all
who’ve tried to cut it,
(that only makes me think
of women in Auschwitz,
stripped and shaved) I
think it is to try
to celebrate

by Lyn Lifshin

*Lyn's website:

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