when I was little
they called me Goldilocks

I had hair the color of
dirt that is dug up in springtime

I would have liked gold hair
all the town kids who got good grades
had hair like sunshine

I do have one small strand of blond
on the left side
if I lift layers of dark, I can see it

last year when I visited my mother
her hair, a winter landscape
mine, silver
she asked if I still had that streak of gold

together we went to the bathroom mirror
probing till we found it

they called me Goldilocks

I didn’t have blond hair
I never invaded anybody’s house
let alone a bear’s
not in a million years would
I walk in unannounced
eat someone’s porridge
break their chair
sleep in their bed

they wanted me to have yellow hair
wishing for good grades, good looks
smart enough not to get pregnant

one hidden strand of gold
just wasn't enough


© 2002 Shirley Dunn Perry

Shirley Dunn Perry, author of Ten Five-Minute Miracles: How to Relax, is a poet, writer and teacher specializing in writing to find one's voice. She is currently working on a book for writers, tentatively titled, Organic Writing. Her work has appeared in, among others, ByLine Magazine, The Write Word, Erete's Bloom, and The Laughing Dog. Shirley is a retired nurse and world traveler living in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband, Jim Perry. She can be contacted at SDunnPerry[AT] (replace [AT] with @).

For more of her work in TheScreamOnline, visit the Talent Index.

Photo by Emily Weir