Editor’s Note: Our member Natalie Goodwin shares a timely message about a perennial holiday toy, and a reminder of the darker side of the holidays. We hope you enjoy her poems.
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A Letter Home to Parents
If you want society to define your child with:
(extension nylon curls,
after eating hurls,
necklace made of pearls,
garish glamour, self-worth stammer, disheartened clamor,
malleable model, worth from a bottle, inner squabble,
depression, therapy sessions, social regression,
top heavy diva,
self-torture, inequality endorser, emotional warfare,
imprisoned a body image snare,
fall from grace, loss of faith,
plastic putty nose,
jobs that blow,
defeated, depleted, mistreated,
media exploitation, pop culture implications,
beauty image manipulation,
sexist segregation, and lack of validation)
then by all means…… buy her a fucking Barbie.
Long Sleeves, too long for this heat
She covers herself, from her face to her feet
Immense sunglasses, like that of movie stars
Hidden under… her bruises and scars
Tingling young body, she thinks she’s found love
All too soon she finds, she is disposed of
The boys line up, there is quite a collection
Hidden under… her yearning for affection
Popping pills in the morning, booze at night
Lying in the bed, of the next Mr. Right
Esteem has vanished, without direction
Hidden under… her fear of rejection
Innocence thundering by, riding the fast train
Roaring pursuit of love, on dangerous terrain.
Boys pay no caution, to the life she’s been handed
Hidden under… she’s been abandoned.
Her perception of love, has been unfairly tainted
Innermost struggles, now tangibly painted.
Long sleeves and sunglasses worn as veils of secrecy
Suffering and destruction show no leniency…Hidden under
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Natalie Goodwin is a senior and a non-traditional student at The University of Kansas, where she is earning her Bachelor’s degree in Literature, Language and Writing, with a minor in Sociology. At age 44 she went to college to obtain her degree and is graduating this May. After graduation, she plans to enter into a MFA/Ph.D. program and further her education in writing. Natalie’s desires for the future are to teach either creative writing or poetry on the college level and bring the arts to inmates in local prisons, aiding them with their freedom of expression.While attending college she has been working in an alternative high school with teen mothers.
Natalie enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction, but her passion is poetry. Natalie’s poems “A Letter Home to Parents” and “Hidden Under” are examples of how she combines her love of poetry with messages that stem from her sociological concerns. It is this sociological drive that also feeds her desire to work within the prison systems to open up the opportunity to hear their voices. Natalie is in the beginning stages of starting her own poetry project for inmates.