Randall Wick CC
I didn’t think to write you down.
Now, when I look for clues, I return
to the same old stories:
your Marlboro Reds and Mountain Dew.
You remember this one, don’t you, about
when you volunteered as my Girl Scout leader?
Instead of camping you took us to the Holiday Inn.
Sprung for cable and tuned the screen to soft-core porn.
You feigned surprise when another girl screamed from
the bathroom, the sight of your spent tampon casually
floating in the bowl too much for her to bear.
You answered all their questions, those girls. Crawled
under a blanket with everyone but me, giggles and
flashlights and your voice, rising above theirs to
shriek: Her jeans are bigger than mine!
What would I send you for Mother’s Day now?
Maybe the memory of how I sneaked away that night
to the hotel pool, comfy in my sweats and t-shirt, alone
until dawn when the manager found me asleep
on my library book. He thought I’d jumped the fence.
I had a better story for him. In that moment
I was your daughter. I think you might have been proud
though I don’t remember you ever saying those words--
--I’m proud of you--but before the day I didn’t say goodbye,
I remember you saying At least you have pretty hair.
Lisa Allen’s poetry and essays have appeared in several print and online journals as well as three anthologies. She holds MFAs in Creative Nonfiction and Poetry, both from The Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program, where she was a Michael Steinberg Fellow. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is a co-founder, with Rebecca Connors, of the virtual creative space The Notebooks Collective, as well as a founding co-editor of the anthology series Maximum Tilt.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.