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readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Poetry Friday: Plastic Salad Forks

My daughter, Ellen Elizabeth Grover, wrote this poem to be performed. I think the strength is still evident when you read it though, and I thought our readergirlz would appreciate the sentiments. Happy Poetry Friday, all!




plastic salad forks 

You girls 

who collect boy's 
firefly hearts 
in glass boutique jars. 
Who peer through 
chic magnifying glasses 
which focus the sun of your 
fluttering eyelashes 
to see how bright your latest addition will burn. 
This poem is not for you. 

That's right, you girls 
of the long black cotton legs 
of the soft plaid shirt-dresses 
of the beautiful 
                        beautiful 
untamed curls.
This poem is not for you.

You girls
of the scented hair, steaming from the iron
of the green tea frappucino glued to your bronzed hand
with the spine currently arched just so
for the poor poor boy in the front front row.
This poem is not for you.

This poem is for that boy
(in the front, front row)
who wants to save his first kiss
for someone really special
who rolls the sleeves of his crisp white dress shirt
right up to the elbows
who looks at himself in the mirror and thinks
"maybe I'll ask her today." This is for you.
This is for you.

This is for the boy
who isn't too afraid he likes chick flicks.
This is also for the boy who is.

This is for the boy
who lives for the sound of rain
who doesn't look when the brunette in front of him with the beige, low cut top leans over to pick up
what she may or may not have intentionally dropped
who finds he can't decide whether the most beautiful place on a girl is the peach-skin fuzz on her toes, or if it's where the line of her neck disappears behind her ear
who knows the most beautiful thing a girl can do
is pray.
           This is for you.

This is for the boy
who watches Heath Ledger on the bleachers
in 10 Things I Hate About You
and thinks "Yeah,
I could do that."
This is for the boy
who yes, sings, and yes, dances
and also for the boy who can't yet
                                                       but thinks it'd be cool to try.

This is for the boy
who isn't afraid to use words
like "indubitably" and "proverbially"
who can't wait to use words
like "cherish" and "adore"
and who employs the word "cute"
out of the context of some girl's butt.
This is for the boy
who doesn't swear
who loves Shakespeare, the Bible, Tennyson,
who doesn't friend some random girl on facebook just because her profile picture is hot.
           This is for the boy
who wakes up each morning
hugs his mom
and prays to become a better person for her
before grasping the handle of his front door and stepping out into the downpour
into the drenching onslaught of what we girls have in store for them.
Don't let those shoulder blades rust in the rain.
This is for you.

So you girls
who twirl these boys around
your dainty plastic salad forks?
Who giggle as you sizzle them under the heat
of your high high heels?
Shame on you.
                Shame on me.
                                 Shame on us.

And boys?
This one's for you.


Ellen Elizabeth Grover, copyright 2011

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

6 comments:

Melissa Walker said...

Lovely! Firefly hearts!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thanks, Melissa!

Stasia said...

I have four sons. I am going to read your poem to them today. Thank you on their behalf (especially my quietest one--the one who takes voice lessons but is too shy to try out for the school musical). Beautiful.

Little Willow said...

Lovely work, Ellen! Thank you for sharing. :)

Lorie Ann Grover said...

I will pass your sweet words on to my daughter, Stasia. Here is to your sons! Bravo!

Kj said...

That's really good. I'm fortunate to know a few boys like that =)