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Twiggy and Me
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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 skirt
sprouts 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 teases
at me. Her spaghetti shape is nothing like my muscles.
Twiggy's a waif with sad eyes. Her arms dangle
like Baryshnikov doing Petruschka, old-time.
She is the new natural. That must be why her skirts
hang 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 time
to tame my natural curl. At least we're freed from teasing
our hair to Marie Antoinette heights. Seems some of us'll
never 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 angle
that is guaranteed to spasm my neck muscles.
She is pale, blank as a peeled egg. Nothing to be wormed
out of her. She stands for that moment in the sixties
when the revolution hit dress stores. Talk about timing.

I've got homework to do. I write a book report, beating time
to Revolution on my sturdy calf. My history teacher is curt
about late papers. He grades strict. I'm shy and ill at ease
with 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.

Karen Greenbaum-Maya  

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).

Copyright © 2013 Karen Greenbaum-Maya
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Karen Greenbaum-Maya. "Twiggy and Me." WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly 41.1 (2013): 108-109. Project MUSE. Web. 17 Jun. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Greenbaum-Maya, K.(2013). Twiggy and Me. WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly 41(1), 108-109. The Feminist Press. Retrieved June 17, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Karen Greenbaum-Maya. "Twiggy and Me." WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly 41, no. 1 (2013): 108-109. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed June 17, 2013).
T1 - Twiggy and Me
A1 - Karen Greenbaum-Maya
JF - WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly
VL - 41
IS - 1
SP - 108
EP - 109
PY - 2013
PB - The Feminist Press
SN - 1934-1520
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/wsq/v041/41.1-2.greenbaum-maya.html
N1 - Volume 41, Numbers 1 & 2, Spring/Summer 2013
ER -


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