girls with stars in their eyes.
Female identity (Portrayals)
Self identity (Portrayals)
Female experience (Portrayals)
|Publication:||Name: Hecate Publisher: Hecate Press Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Hecate Press ISSN: 0311-4198|
|Issue:||Date: May-Nov, 2010 Source Volume: 36 Source Issue: 1-2|
|Topic:||NamedWork: Girls with Stars in Their Eyes (Poem)|
Once a long time ago I was 22. I wanted to get fit but I didn't
like going to the gym that much, or running, so one night, instead, I
decided to skip.
Not the with-a-rope kind of skipping but the other kind of skipping you did when you were a kid. I really used to enjoy that, the boundingness, the height, the joy, that kick-up that you get, kind of like hopping but on two legs. And I went out, like that, into the night.
It was Saturday, late. I skipped down the still busy street where the pub was on the comer across from the beach--that old dealer pub, the broken-down one with the local history, the surfies, the roaring laughter, the men spilling out. And they spilled as I passed by, skipping, spilling, the drunken men, all boozed up in their thongs and King Gees and their long surfie hair. Blond, I think.
And I should've been afraid. Normally I would have been, but skipping, who could hurt me? Who would hurt a girl who skipped?
Oh, and there were the moon and the stars--I shouldn't forget those--in the sky. There were so high. But so close, close to the touch.
And across the road the beach roared over the sand. And it came and it went back to wherever it was that it went.
And that is when I first saw her. She was at the corner of the pub. I felt her and I saw her with my own eyes, inside. She was real, I swear, real as flesh and blood, real as I am, if I am, and sometimes I'm not even sure about that. But that is another story for another time.
Her name was Malti and it still is. She was an Indian girl with two long black plaits by the sides of her face, falling softly over her shoulders like snakes--if she was standing straight, that is. And she had skinny arms and skinny legs and she was wearing an English girl's dress, a white one, a frilly one, colonial, antiquated. And she had these big, wide, deep eyes, eyes that you could fall into, big pools, big moons with the same kind of pull, the same tug, the sway.
She could also fly, this girl, this Malti, and she did, flew as I skipped. Me along the concrete, her through the sky, round the corner of the pub with all the drunken men spilling out.
And I should've been afraid.
But those men, they were so delighted to see me. It was because of her. I gave one a shock, I think. And that one, the funny biker one, he laughed his guts out and said, 'What the lark?' and I smiled. He smiled back. We both beamed.
Then I went home, Malti with me all the way.
I felt her above flying through the sky, as she does now, in her stiff white, A-lined, English girl's dress and her long plaits, the two of them, hanging down with their paintbrush nibs.
And she is always among them, the stars and the moon, and knowing this, I felt and I feel safe and right and full, that I am a gift to the world, as we all are, I am sure. And I had never felt this before. And I skipped. I bounded all the way.
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|