Fire Escape's 2008 Poetry First Prize Winner

First Prize Fire Escape 2008 Poetry Contest

Doll Skin
by Monika, Panama/USA, Age 17

Dear Josephina,

I owe you an apology
many years in the making
I am sorry that you were always
last in line
That when my mother said
you look so much alike
I would scowl
I am sorry that I
loved Summer over you
that her blond hair
and green eyes
made me smile like
I never smiled at you
I am sorry that when my grandmother
made matching dresses
I never gave you one
that your thick dark hair
never was braided
never was brushed
I am sorry I pronounced your name
with a stiff and angry
I knew it was wrong
but most of all
I am so sorry
that I hated my
own skin
and that you
had to
live in it