Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Stall and Style

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Four-year-old Leah and I decide to get
take-out Chinese for dinner.
I head for the door, turn around
and there's Leah stripping down.
Off come the jeans, panties, and yellow t-shirt.
Actually...I like pink today, she says.

Buck naked, she gathers her Build-A-Bears:
Sophia the Rhino, Bubblehead the Pink Poodle,
Lucy the Bear, and Panda, currently nameless.
They're cold, Leah says. I have to dress them.

Now? Aren't you hungry?
Leah's wilting stare makes it clear
there's a job to be done. We stuff furry limbs
into tiny pink skirts, shirts, and jackets,
fat furry feet into square-toed shoes and boots.
Then Leah wrestles with her own pink wardrobe:
sweats tattooed with tiny sparkling studs
and pink-and-white sneakers that flash when she runs.

Patience worn thin, I point to her smartly turned-out
collection. You're all fabulous, I say. Now let's go.
Leah grabs Sophie, shoves a fake cell phone
into a pink plastic purse, slips on six silly bands,
a quick wave to the rest neatly lined up on the sofa,
and we're off, stomachs growling.


Nancy Scott is the author of five collections of poetry and managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets’ Cooperative in New Jersey. She is Mom to four children and Mimi to five grandchildren. Her work has been widely published in journals such as Mudfish, Witness, Poet Lore, Slant, Journal of New Jersey Poets, and The Ledge. Please visit her website.


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Oh, I can picture this! :-)
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