Kathryn J. Stevens
Cary, North Carolina, USA
"No. I don't want to." Scowling, I lean back against my bedroom window. Twisting the tip of one braid, I suck it into the space left by a recently lost tooth.
rumble round and round . . .
they ball their fists,
ready for a fight
"Komm, mein' Kleine," Grandmother says, patting the space between her and Raggedy Ann.
I look away. "Won't won't won't."
of other girls
jump rope songs
Clutching Raggedy Ann, I slide onto the edge of my bed and open my book of nursery rhymes.
Grandmother's manicured finger slowly moves from word to word.
I struggle to sound out syllables. Tears drip onto London Bridge.
in Grandmother's attic
my battered Mother Goose