Twiggy's legs are perfectly free of muscle.She may be this year's phenom, sneers Time,but those legs are like two white worms.Wider than it is long, her gold corduroy skirtsprouts her thighs, scarcely bigger than her ankles.She is an English girl who drinks Cokes, not teas.
Is this what girls should look like? The concept teasesat me. Her spaghetti shape is nothing like my muscles.Twiggy's a waif with sad eyes. Her arms danglelike Baryshnikov doing Petruschka, old-time.She is the new natural. That must be why her skirtshang on her willow waist, sinuous like a worm's.
Now my gym teacher laughs so hard I squirm.As we practice, she gasps, "Ladies, ladies, don't tease!"We are pretending to exit a VW bug, wearing miniskirts.Mrs. Patterson's shorts reveal eye-popping muscles(you just didn't see many buffed women at the time)and she shows us, again, how our knees have to angle.
Twiggy's hair is short as a boy's, straight as right angles.I have Shirley Temple ringlets that twist like worms.I Scotch tape my bangs flat, but all night isn't enough timeto tame my natural curl. At least we're freed from teasing [End Page 108] our hair to Marie Antoinette heights. Seems some of us'llnever have the good hair, or the right legs for the skirt.
Twiggy's furry eyelashes are longer than her skirt.I study her photo for hours, my head at an anglethat is guaranteed to spasm my neck muscles.She is pale, blank as a peeled egg. Nothing to be wormedout of her. She stands for that moment in the sixtieswhen the revolution hit dress stores. Talk about timing.
I've got homework to do. I write a book report, beating timeto Revolution on my sturdy calf. My history teacher is curtabout late papers. He grades strict. I'm shy and ill at easewith him. In his class, even mean kids turn into angels.That spring we studied all about the Diet of Worms.Austere Luther must have had some serious fervent muscle.
Time would let me figure my own angle on being a girl,how to leave off skirting around like some outcast worm.I had the muscle to use my eyes and still cross all the t's. [End Page 109]
Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a retired clinical psychologist. Since 2007, more than ninety of her poems have been published. Her Eggs Satori was a finalist of note in Pudding House Publications' 2010 chapbook competition. Burrowing Song is forthcoming (Kattywompus Press, 2013).