HomeSouthern VoiceChildren’s Games

Children’s Games

by Liam Nieman

A painting by Theora Hamblett

The yellow one
the one that looks
like the Morton Salt Girl’s
hair, or the feathers
of my chick – that is
what I want. In town,
Ma, in the window,
just this
one, please. But Ma
can’t buy it, not today
she tells me as she
fashions me a dress
of yellow calico and red
thread. The sun shines
and a bark-brown lark
sings from a tree
above the field when I first
wear the dress. My hair is not
blonde like the Morton Girl, but black
like licorice at Christmas. I don’t
taste sweet, though. That’s what
Paul says, chasing after me
to the tree dotted with oranges.
In the field with the soft grass
and the sky like Daddy’s shirt,
I climb the tree. Hanging there,
my body nestled between two
branches, sunbeams circle
the oranges. Paul throws
a soft one, splattering
juice the color of his jumper
all over my dress that Ma made.
I shout and I hear
the lark sing.

 

Liam Nieman is an emerging writer and junior at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. Outside of class, he writes and serves as arts and culture editor for The Daily Mississippian. While his creative writing has yet to be published, his poetry recently won first place at the university level of the Southern Literary Festival’s annual contest. He and his work are on Twitter @liamnieman. 

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