In despair at her daughter’s
hunched over, crab-like stance
Mother hauled me out of my seventh
grade class straight to the doctor.
Doc Weems, who delivered me
and my sister and was a family friend,
glared at the gawky giant
before his eyes. His voice
a thunderclap of doom
threatened me with a back brace
if I didn’t stand straight,
keep those shoulders back.
“You don’t want to look like Marcia,
do you?” he roared.
I pictured the girl my height,
shoulders pinched together,
head thrust like a turtle,
her shuffling gait, drooping everything
and drab ugly clothes.
“Yes, you’re tall,” Doc toned down
his voice one notch below the roar.
“And you’re pretty and well-formed,
and you’ll always see at parades.
Now straighten up, young lady,
and be the beautiful woman
you will become.”
So I did. And am, men tell me,
and I really love parades.
About the Author: Patricia Wellingham-Jones
Patricia Wellingham-Jones is a widely published former psychology researcher and writer/editor. She has a special interest in healing writing, with poems recently in The Widow’s Handbook (Kent State University Press). Chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: poems about breast cancer, End-Cycle: poems about caregiving, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, Voices on the Land and Hormone Stew.