“Alice isn’t Here Today”

Ann Jacob

Alice isn’t here today

No, no -for she has hidden herself away

inside the cupboard under the stair

so no-one knows that she is there.

“I’m hiding here so you can’t see

I am not who you think me to be;

and as I sit in my private cell

surrounded by the musty smell

of dusty vacuum-cleaner bags

and waxy lavender polish rags,

the bristles of the hard stair brush

prick into my arm from the orderly crush

of household implements stored away.

They will think I am out to play.

The rim of light around the door

defines the darkness even more,

only relieved by the dimmish glow

from my bicycle lamp, so no-one will know

that I’m sitting here on the hard tool box.

My legs are itched by long Scout socks

pinched with the shorts from my brother’s drawer.

I munch on a juicy apple core.

In the shorts pocket a forgotten sweet

gives a cellophane rustle – a welcome treat:

a soft centred ‘Minto’ of peppermint flavour

so handily left for me to savour,

as I read by my torch’s feeble light

tales of bravery and might.

I HATE my hairband and long hair –

I want it short – its just not fair!

I HATE my growing rounder figure –

don’t WANT my bosom to get bigger.

Maybe I could bind it back

to stop it growing, keep it flat,

and work instead on rippling muscle?

Outside the door I hear mealtime bustle –

‘Alice, come it’s time for tea’.

I do not answer, I am not she,

For I am really a boy you see.

Oh why can they not understand

that i was s’posed to be a man?

I wish that ‘she’ could go away.

No, Alice is not here today.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Material should not be published in another periodical before at least one year has elapsed since publication in Whispering Dialogue. *أن لا يكون النص قد تم نشره في أي صحيفة أو موقع أليكتروني على الأقل (لمدة سنة) من تاريخ النشر. *All content © 2021 Whispering Dialogue or respective authors and publishers, and may not be used elsewhere without written permission. جميع الحقوق محفوظة للناشر الرسمي لدورية (هَمْس الحِوار) Whispering Dialogue ولا يجوز إعادة النشر في أيّة دورية أخرى دون أخذ الإذن من الناشر مع الشكر الجزيل

Leave a Reply