My inkwell spilled —
its contents bled
blue-edged circles onto the
yellow-flowered cotton sash
that accented my 15-year-old
waistline like an engagement ring
around a bony finger. Folks said
the chocolate milk I drank
made me unhealthy.
They also said my poetry would not
amount to much. They meant well.
The flowered sash no longer fits,
and I haven’t needed a doctor
since Granny treated the barbed wire cut
on my arm with juice
from a black walnut hull.
Today, I read my poetry at the White
House. Other guests included
international poets and folks
c Copyright, 2000, Freeda Baker Nichols
This poem is fiction. I’ve not read poety
at the White House. Maybe, someday–
a poet’s dream, perhaps?
Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas Anthology