poetryrepairs #234 17,02:018

MADELINE SHARPLES : Underarm Dingle-Dangle
MADELINE SHARPLES : No Helmets Yet

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MADELINE SHARPLES
Underarm Dingle-Dangle

My upper arms look like semi-inflated balloons hang under them. My friend June used to call this flapping-in-the-wind phenomena kimono arms, or, to get right to the point, underarm dingle-dangle. They resist every try to firm them up. I canít bear heavy weights, and sissy little three-pounders, really do no good. Yet I do my puny triceps and biceps moves at least three times a week anyway. Iíve exercised like a fiend most of my life: playing tennis, running, practicing Pilates and Yoga, and now walking miles along the ocean. My obsession keeps me sane Ė it saved my life and out of the psych ward after my son died Ė and trim enough to defy those who called me fatso when I was a little girl. No, I canít get rid of the dingle-dangle Ė I wonít it cut off as once suggested. Nor will I expose it in public wearing halter and tank tops and strapless gowns. But I can suck it into a tight-fitting long-sleeved tee.

poetryrepairs #234 17,02:018





MADELINE SHARPLES
No Helmets Yet

They wear no helmets for this game. Children, ages nine and ten, play flag football under a gray-clouded sky. No pushing or tackling allowed yet. Instead they pull off a belt of flags from around their opponentís waists to end a play. As we scream for more, the youngsters pass the football over twenty-five yards, until the teamís only girl, her red-blonde pony tail and feet flying, catches it and runs for a touchdown. We buy them footballs to fit in their hands, and entice them with our roars now. Soon weíll add helmets and shoulder and knee pads and cheer for them even more when they knock their heads together, and heave each other to the ground.

poetryrepairs #234 17,02:018






   




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MADELINE SHARPLES is author of Leaving the Hall Light On: A Motherís Memoir of Living with Her Sonís Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide Ė in poetry and prose (Dream of Things). She co-edited The Great American Poetry Show Volumes 1, 2, and 3 and wrote the poetry for The Emerging Goddess photography book (Paul Blieden, photographer). She writes for several websites and is currently working on a novel.


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