Nov 26, 2010

Miss America

Underneath all of the
who they think you are,
them rolling their eyes and
calling you Miss America,
shaking their heads, saying,
"In that mirror again."

Just because you
like to try
out the Avon samples,
like to paint your face with the new
shadows and blushes and glosses,
like to play Cover Girl.

Underneath is something more.
They call you vain,
but insecurity grips.
You wish you were a pretty girl.

Could your nose be smaller,
your skin smoother?

When I meet Jermaine Jackson,
will he think I’m cute?

Then I see a picture
of Hazel Gordy.
He marries her.

Pretty girls are everywhere.
Insecurity lingers,
and Janis Ian sings
about the ones
with clear-skin smiles.

Until you start to like who you are.

Underneath, you are a performer
and the world’s your stage,
or the living room is.


You catwalk across
the bedroom,
a drama queen.
Can try out three hairstyles
during “Law and Order,”
wearing Fashion Fair’s
new red on your lips.
Or Vaseline.

You take helpful hints
from Tyra and the guest judges,
turn your good side to the lens
when there are cameras flashing,
even though your sister smirks:
"Phony!"

Insecurity hovers.

Back in the mirror,
you shrug it off.

Everyone needs
a survival plan.

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