Little Girl Growing Up – Megan Brown

In hot suburban Florida
in an old, sandy bungalow
my father used to
measure my height on the doorframe

If we left the honey out
roaches would come
a bee drove his stinger into my arm—
that kind of summer visit

my baby brother—
learning to talk
my father tuning in
to area news
amid rows of Miller cans in the TV room

dad sold home alarms back then
drove us around
with a gun in the glovebox

I used to look for love in the gifts I gave him—
paisley ties and cologne

I wrote confrontations from 31,000 feet above
only to ball them up at sea level

enter the string of wrong
boyfriends
me, a war girlfriend
waiting by the phone

I am older now, a mother
I can see inside the dollhouse:

The marble queen pothos—that glossy, leathery, heart-shaped vine that grew up in my mother’s home—cascades down my banister. Devil’s ivy, they call it, because it is un-killable.

Dad falls off a low ladder
Son learns how to surf

Son builds castles from old boxes
Sails boats of old and worn shoes

Megan Brown
A native of New Orleans, Megan Brown feels most at home near water. Her writing has been published in the Social Science Quarterly, East Bay Times, and 580 Split. In 2008, her short memoir about her campaign work in Nevada earned an Honorable Mention in the America’s Funniest Humor Writing Contest.

Tiger and Hen
Painting
Sarah A. Smith

Sarah A. Smith
Sarah A. Smith works with ink on paper to create scenes that feature animals and nature. Often, her inspiration comes from antiques and objects in museums like this one, “Tiger and Hen,” drawn from a design on a 17th century huqqa base which is in the collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

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