stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 21952
    [post_author] => 6
    [post_date] => 2021-09-24 11:17:01
    [post_date_gmt] => 2021-09-24 11:17:01
    [post_content] => 

I pay him three dollars to make me Slavic,
retracing my genes
(“quite a coup”).
There are no Face Apps in the 90s
but artists stuck to streets
like flavoured chewing gum –
earning more than surgeons.

A “veneer of civility” won’t do
so I translate myself into “just like you”
and he peels me off in layers,
grins through broken teeth,
and finishes with
a caricature.

How small can I go?

In my next iteration
I give out plastic bags I’d saved
as prize possessions
to unfamiliar children who want me as their penpal.
I pay them my address like gold –
which here resides in God’s home only,
churches bold with guilt
outshine concrete tower blocks –
“of course I’ll write”.

And even closer to my core
values
I refuse to eat at McDonald’s
as only tourists can afford it –
which is “just awful!”
(I’m vegetarian anyway).

Returning to my hotel –
armed guards at the door
“with those sexy uniforms and accents” –
I bravely shed my outers
triumphantly solid,
the last woman standing

and completely unchanged.

[post_title] => Matryoshka [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => matryoshka [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-10-30 10:35:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-10-30 10:35:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/?post_type=poems&p=21952 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => poems [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [meta_data] => stdClass Object ( [wpcf-published-in] => First published in Poetry News, autumn 2021. [wpcf-date-published] => 2021 [wpcf-summary-description] => A winner of the Members' Poems competition in the autumn 2021 issue of Poetry News. The competition, on the theme of 'Surreal cities', was judged by John McCullough. [wpcf-rights-information] => [wpcf-poem-award] => [wpcf_pr_belongs] => ) [poet_data] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 21970 [forename] => [surname] => [title] => Alexandra McCauley [slug] => alexandra-mccauley [content] =>

Born and raised in Oxfordshire, Alexandra McCauley studied Psychology at The University of Edinburgh. She has previously published poems in Black Bough Poetry, a publisher of micro-poetry. She is Director of a nursing home business and lives in the Scottish Borders.

) )
stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 21970
    [forename] => 
    [surname] => 
    [title] => Alexandra McCauley
    [slug] => alexandra-mccauley
    [content] => 

Born and raised in Oxfordshire, Alexandra McCauley studied Psychology at The University of Edinburgh. She has previously published poems in Black Bough Poetry, a publisher of micro-poetry. She is Director of a nursing home business and lives in the Scottish Borders.

)

Matryoshka

Alexandra McCauley

I pay him three dollars to make me Slavic,
retracing my genes
(“quite a coup”).
There are no Face Apps in the 90s
but artists stuck to streets
like flavoured chewing gum –
earning more than surgeons.

A “veneer of civility” won’t do
so I translate myself into “just like you”
and he peels me off in layers,
grins through broken teeth,
and finishes with
a caricature.

How small can I go?

In my next iteration
I give out plastic bags I’d saved
as prize possessions
to unfamiliar children who want me as their penpal.
I pay them my address like gold –
which here resides in God’s home only,
churches bold with guilt
outshine concrete tower blocks –
“of course I’ll write”.

And even closer to my core
values
I refuse to eat at McDonald’s
as only tourists can afford it –
which is “just awful!”
(I’m vegetarian anyway).

Returning to my hotel –
armed guards at the door
“with those sexy uniforms and accents” –
I bravely shed my outers
triumphantly solid,
the last woman standing

and completely unchanged.