Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Seven-year-olds

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When little girls have playdates
They strip off their school uniforms,
Crumpling their polos and khakis
To reveal Curious George
Panties,
But only for a moment
Before slipping into
Stretch velvet dresses
And glittering ice skating outfits.
Suddenly refined,
They sip air-tea from china cups
And lounge on comforters
And handknit throws,
Talking about their classmates
(Not yet their rivals)
And the antics of the boys
At recess.
Look closely
And you will see them
In seven years
In suspended perfection,
The chipped cups at the back
Of the closet, their immaculate teeth
Wired and bound,
Their little legs now coltish
With the need to sprint
From the girlish
Whitewash of cottage furniture
And twin beds.
If you look away,
(Which you should never do)
You will see another seven
Dissolve, and come into view:
The play
And the date
Marked on a calendar,
The velvet dress on a hanger,
A jumbled drawer of panties
And bras, half open,
And a merry little monkey
Waiting at the door.


Char Makela holds an MA in Communication Management from the University of Southern California and has worked in radio broadcasting and arts administration. Her poetry has appeared in South Dakota Review. She lives in Minnesota with her daughter.


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