Wednesday, March 10, 2010


by Lyn Lifshin

once was the blonde
boys gave watches to,
even teachers
tried to lure
and kiss. Sales
men in furniture
stores gasped at her
beauty, looked
sorry for the
fat sister, glued
to her mother’s
sleeves, hiding out
behind thick glasses.
Too pretty to
bother to study, her
perfect legs cheering
the football
players on while
the other made
science projects
of the eye, studies
of carbon, papier mache
models of the eye,
making beauty
out of nothing.
While the pretty
one didn’t bother,
couldn’t care, just
smiled at the watches
boys gave her, got
bored, got into crushes
on married men, anything
not available, wanted what
her sister had, snatched
sweaters and sweets,
tried to snatch the
quiet one’s lovers
but by now, the fatty
had slimmed down, had
contacts, long hair
no longer in braids, now longer,
curly, lighted by the
sun and Clairol, as the
pretty one thickened, no
longer smiled, grew fat
around her as a barricade
against any drunk or abusive
man, let her blonde hair
go grey, let herself
go but not in the way
she had as a child, dancing
in restaurant aisles, twirling
batons, showing off her
lovely lovelies but like some
one who has nothing left
to hold on to

*Lyn's website:

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