American Girl circa 1907

by Paula Parris Eisenstein

Paula Parris Eisenstein is the author of the novel Flip Turn from Mansfield Press. Her prose and poetry has appeared in the literary magazines filling Station and Descantin the anthology The White Collar Bookas a broadside through Toronto Poetry Vendors and is forthcoming from The Rusty Toque. This poem is part of a larger manuscript based on biographical information about and writing by Amelia Earhart.

 

i

When we play we
pretend to be
boys. Boys can do
more. Father is our

main supporter.
Brings home baseballs,
bats, upon request
a football. We shoot

bottles off the
back fence with the
BB gun.
One Christmas arrives

a twenty two
rifle. Now we
can shoot the rats
in the barn’s grain room.

ii

Mother has the
Seamstress fashion
dark blue flannel
bloomers suiting our

more strenuous
activities.
We feel free and
athletic standing

apart from the
properly turned
out girls dressed in
ruffled pinafores

over top their
long full skirted
dresses. Also
somewhat as outcasts.

iii

I keep a bone
collection in
a special trunk
mother wants thrown out.

It includes a
cow’s skull. Spiders,
toads, grasshoppers,
a praying mantis.

Moths, large moths of
which I own a
luna, regal
and cecropia.

I prefer trap
door arachnids.
Venerate their
efficient hinged lids.

With Muriel’s
help I run worm
races. Make a
harness from a grass

blade, a sulky
of a small leaf,
mark out a course
I make them follow.

 


Paula Parris Eisenstein is the author of the novel Flip Turn from Mansfield Press. Her prose and poetry has appeared in the literary magazines filling Station and Descantin the anthology The White Collar Bookas a broadside through Toronto Poetry Vendors and is forthcoming from The Rusty Toque. This poem is part of a larger manuscript based on biographical information about and writing by Amelia Earhart.

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