Once there was a little girl made of paper, with a hollow space in the middle that ate the world and never had enough. The space howled and whined and ate and ate, not just food, but love, and kindness, and pain, and anger, and courage, and all the things that make up a little girl, or even a big girl, until all that was left was what other people saw and said and stuck on. Then one day, the little girl had enough. She held on to her last story, holding until her fingers were on fire, until her tears melted in the fire, until her anger turned back to ice, and the last story came to be a strong, solid shell around the hole. The hole whined and snarled, but no matter how hungry it felt, how empty, the girl knew that it would never be filled. So she built her shell with the food, instead. She took the kindness, and the courage, and the words and words and words that everyone threw at her, and she used her pretty eyes to make them as pretty as she could, and pasted them into bright places and patterns on her hard, strong paper shell. Sometimes the hollow was stronger, and a few pieces were lost, but she always managed to find new ones, sometimes even better ones. And maybe she lived happily ever after, in her own way, and maybe she didn’t, but either way, she had a new name, and it would keep her safe. She was no longer the paper girl…she was the Paper Mache Girl!
The icy storm of your anger washes over me,
freezing my face into a sullen mask of pain.
I won’t give you the pleasure of knowing what you’ve done,
but tonight in my dark room it’s going to rain.
curly heads and shining faces
frightened eyes behind the walls
little targets, little weapons,
back and forth like ping-pong balls
angry voices, violent actions
little faces blind with pain
staring out of curtained windows
flowers turning toward the rain