Wonderbra Soldiers

Almost simultaneously
a score of SUVs arrive,
adorned with bumper stickers for recently-victorious Republican candidates.
Society girl drivers check their look in lit visor mirrors –
when mascaraed lashes, Lancômed lips, carefully careless hair
are perfect, they emerge
in the uniform of the season:
slouchy shoulder bags
white shirts tight across Wonderbra breasts
capri pants showing fake-tan legs
casually expensive shoes.
As though choreographed
they open passenger doors
and help small daughters climb down.
Juggling children, beach towels, birthday gifts
the entourage parades to the party room.
Inside
they discard gifts, towels, daughters
and stand in a clump, blocking the door.
Little girls,
all blonde and dressed to echo their mothers.
strip down to their pink swimsuits
and march away, like a team of tiny synchronized swimmers.
Society girl perfume draped on the air
overpowers even the pool chemicals.
I start to leave, picking my way
past pink girls, gossipy moms.
Lacking their protective coloring
I am the one who becomes invisible.
Neither groups moves aside:
they do not budge for one who is not
a soldier in their identical army.

(Previously published in Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004)

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