I’ll Never Be Miss America

Even though I secretly practiced,
in the bathroom mirror, saying that
I was from Ohio, with just the right
level of enthusiasm. This was when
I was a freshman in high school,
before I became too cool to watch
the Miss America pageant with
my parents and their friends,
each of us marking on notepads
the scores for each round,
and also noting our favorites
as hickory nuts fell on the deck
out back and as I tried to assess
what it would take to win, and
how many years I had to prepare,
to learn a new talent that would
come across well onstage, and to
figure out my hair and makeup,
to fix any flaws, including my
saddlebags, for which my mother
once showed me some exercises
from one of her magazines.
I felt, then, that the time
was not long, would probably
not be enough to fix everything
so I could enter and win, so I
wouldn’t look back from some
point in my future and wonder
if I could have won it, if I
could have won if after all.

For the PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 20. Prompt: “I’ll Never _________”


5 thoughts on “I’ll Never Be Miss America

  1. Thanks! I don’t think I ever admitted this one at the time, and it wouldn’t be too long before I pretended I had no interest in the whole thing anyway, that beauty standards were a form of hegemony 😉 and blah blah blah.

  2. I am falling in love with your world of words, floating within their currents, feeling them splash against my memories and drown my own little confessions along the ride, – whitewater, whitewater, calm… A grammar-ly person would note this entire piece is comprised of just two sentences. And I would claim his world has no color, for therein lies the beauty. You have a marvelous flare, Miss Marilyn.

    • Thanks so much, John (or John Allen?)! I’m so glad to hear you’ve been enjoying my poems. Both the daily prompts and a challenge I gave myself to write here within WordPress and post as soon as I’m done have made my work this month a little different from usual — less buttoned-up and careful. Will have to try to maintain some of that energy once the month is up. Thanks again for your very kind words.

      • Marilyn, perhaps you should explore care free. The thing I foind so wonderful in these poems is the way you take something that we all think about from time to time but rarely ever speak of. And you write it as though the mind is going through it, not merely remeniscing. I find it so fresh and honest, but most of all it relates so well with all of us. I think you have a very unique perpective.

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