A poem by Katie Dunne


As I Curl My Hair For Graduation

Daddy bounces me on his knee–one
fishy, two fishy, three fishy, four

cradles my curls within his fingertips,
brushes my cheeks as I suck
on my binky, gaze at the sky

Our old white couch, blue-and-pink striped,
spins in my mind as it splinters
my hand just as it did when I was
seven, playing in its shadow, hiding
toys beneath an upturned tissue box

Mamaw’s silver dollar pancakes call
as I sit in Papaw’s recliner,
feet poking out of the blue plush, waiting
for her to dice the animal shapes
with the sharp edge of a glinting fork

I scream at Mommy for not fixing
my hair for prom, for buying a dress
I no longer wanted, for not
tucking me in before I grew
too big and my feet hung over the rails

I run around Bell Park’s bases,
my body eats dust and pebbles,
my hair breathes in the scent of dirt
and grass as it trails behind me, cap
dropped along the way, as the seasons changed