Days I Walked Home from School


Was Bewitched reruns and kale soup,
cheaper than cafeteria food. A TV tray
set up already when I swirled in
after getting past the Junipero pervert and
running the alley. It was all scary,
pretending to be all right
and there were gangs and getting jumped
on your birthday, and I was bused to another
school after this one, where the other
girls had Sassoon jeans and Ann Taylor scarves.
The blue bus that brought me two hours
to junior high where there was a special
garden for the 9th graders, and candy
apples at nutrition.  It was all that
I wanted and wanted to go skiing and
Hawaii, but, we got government cheese 
from Weingart Center,
and Margo sewed my brown skirts 
from industrial-made cloth
she got at Repp and Mott auction. It was that
way and the counselors told me that 
I liked to read and there were libraries,
and I liked to read. I was the boldest
and most dangerous, sunny disposition I knew.
Every weekend rewriting Little Women
in a made-up binder I put together 
out of three rings held
together with paper and pink yarn.

MILLICENT BORGES ACCARDI is the author of three poetry books: Injuring Eternity, Woman on a Shaky Bridge, and Only More So. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Fulbright, CantoMundo, California Arts Council, Barbara Deming, Foundation for Contemporary Arts (NYC),, Fundação Luso-Americana (FLAD), and SOPAS, Special Congressional Recognition for poetry in the California Portuguese community. Her new work appears in The Journal, Quiddity, Another Chicago Magazine and Laurel Review.