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It wasn’t me!
It was these shoes!
They dragged me
where I didn’t choose!

As soon as they
were on my feet,
off they went
on down the street.

If they weren’t
so tightly tied
I might have taken
back my stride,

but they stomped my
fingers when I tried
and yanked me up
the tallest slide.

They marched me
to the candy shop
I really could not
make them stop!

They kicked my
sister in the shin
then ran before
she saw me grin.

They raced me
to the jungle gym,
I was a victim
to their whim!

They wandered through
the tallest grass
and made me late
for science class.

It wasn’t me!
It was these shoes!
My feet were hostage –
sore abused!

Take these shoes –
these things are cursed!
But you’ll hafta
catch me first!

© Sarah Whiteley

Sometimes you just have to be silly. Although I don’t recommend shin kicking. Usually.


I. Don’t. Cut. My. Hair.

-well, except for maybe
a little trim now and then,
but not so’s you’d notice-

It’s been two decades
since I s(h)aved it all
and (s)hoved it all
in that /hateful/ boy’s face
two days before the prom
and (it along with) my sharp-
boned shoulders (s)ticking above
that dress /bluest blue for
truest true/ made me look like
love’s refugee escaped
to the other side of the fence.

Mother took the picture anyway.

After a year of getting
my fuzz petted and patted
(feels better than you’d guess-
it’s how I learned I purred)
I donned again my Samson’s face
-now with breasts, but minus the dress-
and I. Don’t. Cut. My. Hair.

© Sarah Whiteley

Props to my mother, who really did take that picture anyway. It’s a wonder she didn’t drink.

the dangers of stargazing

this morning,
before morning really,
before the light had begun
to line the eastern sky,
I walked – feet testing
the crispness of those
first fallen leaves
(someone must, after all,
be the first to fall)
while Orion hung
so impossibly bright,
so brilliant even from beneath
the glare of the streetlight,
that I had to (truly had to)
walk along with head tilted back
ridiculously celestially absorbed
in that darned belt
everyone’s always pointing out
why? I was just wondering,
does no one point out the bow
so perfectly poised
that any arrow loosed
would pierce the heaving flesh
of the great bull before him?

when I wandered face-first
into the very earthy wonder
of a spider web
take heed, my friend –
there are dangers even
in stargazing

© Sarah Whiteley

I absolutely did do this rather recently and after I’d pulled the spider web off my face, couldn’t help but laugh at myself and wonder if this was the Universe’s ever-so-subtle way of reminding me to find ways to be more grounded.

the aging heart

when one is young
a heart’s pain is half-wild
hot and sharp and crazed as wasps
in an aging heart
the pain settles in a way
like an ever-present
ache in the elbows
a creak in the knees
or like rousing stiff-jointed
in the chill revelation of morning
with your heart’s hurts waking
upon the pillow beside you
and the niggling frustration
of wondering just where
you left the damn keys

© Sarah Whiteley

ode to the sh*t who murdered my mail box

dear inconsiderate slime,
that was a waste of your time,
all that effort to pry
and not a check waiting by
not a bank statement,
not a present, nor dime

your mother must really be proud,
bet she sings your praises aloud
does she know you’re a sh*t
with the mind of a twit
and are most likely
minutely endowed

what were you hoping to steal?
(you worthless degenerate heal)
all you got was Netflix,
Season Three, Disc Six
of (goddamn you I was looking forward to that)
Ally McBeal

© Sarah Whiteley

a spot of bother

dearest Mother and Father,
I’m in a spot of bother
I can’t go to sleep, you see,
for there appears to be
a Beast-Hemoth under my bed

you’ll say that my mind’s playing tricks
I’d believe you if he didn’t kick
but he turns in his sleep
that big snoring heap
and his tail keeps whacking my head

I’ve tried waking the great big lump
by kicking his big fat rump
but he’s hungry you see
and he won’t listen to me
when I tell him to get out of my bed

so I’m sorry dear Mother and Father,
I hate to be such a bother
but if I go back to my room
and the Beast-Hemoth of doom
I fear that I might wake up dead

get my little butt right back upstairs?
I’m starting to think you don’t care
for I’ll die if I go
this is as big as I’ll grow
that Beast-Hemoth has never been fed

you’ll feel in the morning regret
when you wake up to find I’ve been et
or you’ll be cross with me
if he answers my plea
and he eats my sister instead

© Sarah Whiteley