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This poem is taken from PN Review 195, Volume 37 Number 1, September - October 2010.

Six Poems Jane Yeh

John Singer Sargent’s The Daughters of Edward D. Boit: One Daughter

I still play with dolls, but I know they’re just pretend.
My best friend is the housekeeper’s cat. We are both exceptional-

Ly refined: he only eats mackerel, from a porcelain bowl.
I only wear silk taffeta ribbon on my head. He sounds like

A small growling dog when he purrs. I talk like a lady
Dog yapping, Mrs Locke says. If I were a lady cat

I could use my claws to unhook the strings
Of my sisters’ stays. I could slowly wave my tail in the air

To mean Give me some cream pie or What is the height
Of Faneuil Hall as measured in cats?
My triangular skull

Would fit exactly into Mrs Locke’s hand. She thinks
Our family’s a silly thing, like putting a pug dog into

A party dress. She doesn’t know I sometimes put her cat
In my bathroom sink – he likes it there.

What I think: when my sisters are grown up
...


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