Barbie Doll
      -- Marge Piercy

This girlchild was born as usual 
and presented dolls that did pee-pee 
and miniature GE stoves and irons 
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy. 
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: 
You have a great big nose and fat legs. 

She was healthy, tested intelligent, 
possessed strong arms and back, 
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity. 
She went to and fro apologizing. 
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs. 

She was advised to play coy, 
exhorted to come on hearty, 
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle. 
Her good nature wore out 
like a fan belt. 
So she cut off her nose and her legs 
and offered them up. 

In the casket displayed on satin she lay 
with the undertaker's cosmetics painted on, 
a turned-up putty nose, 
dressed in a pink and white nightie. 
Doesn't she look pretty? everyone said. 
Consummation at last. 
To every woman a happy ending.

To Every Woman

who craves that 
happy ending, 
good news: 

you can shoot
yourself up now
with a magic elixir

that will burn you 
in no time

to a lovely 
size 0 --

your desire to eat 
more than a 
polite bite --

raise your 6-pack
from the un-
imaginable depths

of post-baby weight --
melt you to a
diamond shadow

of your formerly
"fat" self --
so that when you attend

your 20-year 
high school reunion 
you will shine like 

an anorexic star 
(black hole) 
in the ranks of 

former friends,
burn sharp as a 
bone knife

with your arms around
fleshy daughters,
grin with 

the manic gleam
of adrenaline 
and money,

bikini clad on 
expensive beaches,
immortalized and

nearly divine -- 
blaze forever
thin in

the electronic 
of Facebook.

Suggested soundtrack: Ravel’s “Bolero”

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