The story goes like this: when Mother reached
the backdoor, her heart went straight to her son,
bypassing the two-year old girl who’d screamed,
whose foot hung by a bone. She might have run
to him first, the daughter still in the hole
Curtie wanted to dig, filling with blood.
But not so horrid is how the shovel
scarred her foot, or what actions Mother took –
but to be told umpteen times, how Barbie
could heal, but Curtie mustn’t feel guilt-full.
Where was Mother? Who left the shovel free
for the boy to dig near to Barbie’s sole?
Had she meant to teach what it was she taught—
that aloneness is what being a girl wrought?


Barbara Schweitzer is the author of 33 1/3: Soap Opera Sonnets. Recent work is published in The Decadent Review, Crosswinds, The Woven Tale Press, Slab 17, The Evening Street Review, Glimpse, upcoming in The Heartland Review.