Today's poem is by Kate Nuernberger

The Strange Girl Asked Politely to be Called Princess

When Sally Lida skips rope her hair flies
like a porpoise. She collects things that melt
and things that tick, circles and cubes
and checkerboards in a drawer
she pulls out from her navel.

The other children, alerted by the marbles
rolling in her chest, chase her across the field.
Sally insists she has nothing, she is just hungry,
but they pin her down and open her up.
Cockroaches come rushing out and bullies

run, squeal, crush exoskeletons underfoot.
She gathers up as many of the carapaces
as she can, tells them she is sorry
there is no lock, but the teacher says
good children don't have secrets.

Copyright © 2007 Kate Nuernberger All rights reserved
from Burnside Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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