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On Not Choosing Paper Dolls
                                                   [Lois Villemaire]

You sat at your skirted dressing table
searching for happiness in the mirror,
understanding little league for you
was a dream that could never come true.
You challenged the boys on the field,
your brothers and others on the block
playing baseball on summer days. In the fall
you asked your mother to cancel ballet
she finally relented and agreed you could play
Saturdays on the neighborhood team.
“Girls pick up jacks or dress paper dolls.”
You did—but it wasn’t your first choice.
With chalk you drew hopscotch on the sidewalk,
hop hop hopping on one foot wasn’t the same.
You watched your brothers and friends
from your seat in the stands at the little league game,
born too soon to be included,
to venture where girls were not accepted.
I think of that tomboy whose youthful mind
never imagined barriers tumbling with Title IX.


Lois Perch Villemaire, originally from the Philadelphia area, is a longtime resident of Annapolis, MD where she is inspired by the charm of a colonial town and the glorious Chesapeake Bay. After retirement from a career in local government, she concentrated on her love of writing. Researching her family history has inspired poetry, memoir, and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in a number of journals such as Ekphrastic Review, Flora Fiction, and One Art: A Journal of Poetry, and has been included in several anthologies. Lois enjoys yoga practice, amateur photography, and raising African violets.

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