It was all wrong.
The dress I wore,
the gift, the girls'
lithe bodies nothing like mine.
When the adult versions
left the room, there was something
that sounded like an insult, laughter,
maybe one of them even hit me.
An open door.
Nothing familiar except instinct.
It was minutes, maybe hours,
before I was on my bike
in the same jumper and dress shoes
making loop-de-loops in the driveway when
came the six of them,
Easter egg silks, wide terrifying smiles,
the sun glinting off them like tinted cellophane.
I wanted to blink them
into a story I would later write.
It's fine Ms. Jones or Jacks
I hate them
as much as they hate me.
Tomorrow everything will be set right.
The insults hurled across the table
will be replaced with left over ribbon crumbs.
Big pretty ladies, someone has taught you to feign gentle.
Someone has taught you to float. The truth—
While some girls are threaded
with cotton and spring,
others are stitched with wasp wings.