Today's poem is by Erika Meitner
Instructions for Vigilant Girls
Be the sleeping sister who sees no one.
Stay stuck in. Later, hand over
a list of suspects: the handyman,
the bachelor neighbor, the uncle
who was never really your uncle.
When there are conversations,
take notes in your secret diary:
She said she saw him look at things.
Wear the key in your hair. No one
will search there. Speak on behalf
of the soon-to-be-missing, but if they play
in the woods near your home, do not
trail them to an encounter with the man
in the conversion van who gently insists
you hunt for his puppy and means you
no harm through his pleated pockets filled
with stars and balloons, real pieces
of the moon. Resist. Try not to lick anything.
Bring your gum eraser and be invisible
as a grackle to the well-trained watcher
who follows your movements
but never reports them until
you are found veiled in a strip mall basement,
throat unfurling with threats and questions.
Copyright © 2011 Erika Meitner All rights reserved
from Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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