A Girl and Her Prom

By Margo Valentine

Image courtesy of Rantz (flickr.com)

White pasty legs in the larkspur
near the bridge with the broken gaps,
that kiss underneath
the gray and the navy brick,
where sunlight streams through.
The fish swim right past your fingers
cold, slimy, but colorful-unordinary blue.

The water cool, like glass upon your hands,
like lavender around your wrists,
placing pins, painting lips for the prom.
Lights lit, the ballroom stands,
but no one waits. No music plays.
They baited you – Old trick, still cruel.

You stand, snagged, like too old tights,
so constricting, wriggling white.
A fish on a line, the biggest catch-
the last breath, it hovers –
choking gasps, as the morning glories
they cower and wither, shake with the dew,
as you shake with cold in a wet wet world.

Dress loose and limp, a gossamer flower
killed by too much rain or tears.
Straight through the mangy hassock,
the dirt leaves streaks – raven rivulets, chiffon drear.
Walking home alone you wonder,
if you will ever come into bloom.

If being so different suits you,
why does it feel like a punishment?
At least you have the one you love,
hands held, through thick and thin.
Woods where a kiss stands
for what is not allowed,
but it should.

Photo by Erika Ashauer (cropped by YARN)

Margo Valentine studied film and video at The California Institute of the Arts where her flash fiction was published in the student journal, Artizen. She also studied writing with her favorite YA writer, Francesca Lia Block. Margo’s short adult story, “The Aching Space,” was recently published in Block’s ebook anthology, “Love Magick.” She is currently working on her first YA novel about true love and hauntings, and lives with her husband in Los Angeles. She can be found at www.margovalentine.com. 

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2 Comments Post a Comment
  1. carol says:


  2. Theodora says:

    Great poem, Margo! Truly captures the pain, awkwardness, and disappointment of adolescence. You created something beautiful out of an ugly experience. Brava! Quite reminiscent of my prom. My boyfriend broke up with me right before prom. I was left with a broken heart and a gorgeous lace and black beaded dress with nowhere to wear it to.

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