Sharon Larsen

The bully bounces into the room,
pink elastic pants stretched to the limits,
Hawaiian shirt flapping
as she skips and twirls,
knocks over tables and chairs.
Her yellow hair looks like
she’s stuck a finger in a socket.
Her lipstick glows like sunset,
eye shadow gleams like dusk.
And she is singing
as she whirls toward me.
“Look at me!
Come with me!
Don’t be a stick in the mud!”
She pulls at my hand,
presses into it a drink –
something exotic, red,
She pulls a cheesecake
from her pocket,
slices it with her finger,
swallows half,
offers me the rest.
“Eat, drink, be merry,
you uptight moody blue!”
Her voice is shrill above the storm
that surrounds her as she walks.
Her voice is like a parrot’s,
shouted, with no meaning.
It is difficult to resist her.
Her colors and music compel,
My feet are sunk in stone.
The bully rises with the screeching wind.
I quietly anchor here.

Author's Note: “The Bully” came to me as I was struggling with all of my inner critics, trying to visualize and thus disarm them. I had anticipated picturing these inner critics in rather demonic images, but was surprised when this colorful, crazy critic appeared. She tells me I should get out and go wild, in sharp contrast to all the other inner critics who tell me to sit down and shut up. I kind of like her.

Sharon Larsen Pic_preview.jpeg

After a career writing news and opinion, Sharon Larsen embraced her first writing love – poetry – and welcomed the freedom to explore feelings without worrying about pesky facts. She lives in Western New York, where a sense of humor is essential to getting through winters.