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  You could have a big dipper   

Patterns and Lace by Sarah Lilius

The girl is careful.

Knees throw her to the gravel.

Her world is patterned walls by walls,

carpet beige on beige.

Tiny throat lumps as she stands

on her twin bed

watching children outside

kick around a ball.

They laugh and she cowers

down into blankets.

She loves the boys

on posters.

Has her first boy

in seventh grade.

They watch What About Bob?

at the theater.

He kisses her outside the door

and the addiction starts.

The lace on her cotton

dress crinkles.

Her mother never irons

it again.


Sarah Lilius is the author of five chapbooks, including GIRL (dancing girl press, 2017), and Thirsty Bones (Blood Pudding Press, 2017). Her work can be found in Luna Luna Magazine, Pithead Chapel, and Fourteen Hills. She lives in Culpeper, VA with her husband and two sons. Her website is She tweets @slilius.

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