NANNY 1890

ALICE AND THE CARICATURE

 

Alice chalks

secretly, in

red and white,

a caricature

 

of the new

nanny her

father has hired.

The stick like

 

figure is spread

eagled across

the side wall

of the house,

 

red hair, eyes

and mouth,

white long

protruding

 

teeth and

four fingers

on each hand.

She has heard

 

her parents row;

the new nanny

took her by

her small hand

 

to the nursery

and sat her in

a chair; stay

there, she said.

 

She draws a

thin white line

of chalk through

the nanny's heart.

 

She stares, smiles,

and wipes her

hands on her

pinafore and

 

put her hands

behind her back.

Her father had

punished; her

 

mother had

cried and rowed

and now Alice

waits outside,

 

by the wall,

staring at the

caricature, the

stick nanny

 

with an arrow

through her heart.

The sun is dull;

rain threatens;

 

birds sing; the

thin maid walks

with a mild limp.

Alice waits for

 

rain; her hands

sense the area

of punishment

pain. Mother

 

loves and hugs

and kisses. Her

Father glares

and shouts

 

and smacks

and never misses.

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