Saving the World

by Angela France

She keeps Barbie heads
on her fingertips at night.
If they twist around
to look at her in the morning,
she knows asteroids are coming.
She counts her steps
to the bathroom, crabwise
by the door to make them right;
          If there's an ‘r’ in the day
          odd numbers play,
          if there's an ‘n’ in the day
          even holds sway.
          But if it’s Tuesday,
          hop all the way
She holds her cereal spoon
up to her mouth and waits
for the clock’s second hand
to reach 1 to take it in
   takes it out on 3.

Deep in her pocket,
Malibu Barbie-head
pinches her fingertip to remind
her to look away from the dog
at the end house; she can’t rely
on seeing the one-legged
homeless guy by the corner shop.
     She hops down the curb
              on her left foot,
                     hops up on her right
                            at the other side.
She feels the warmth
of Secretary Barbie’s approval
spreading from her pinky
because she got to school
with no mistakes.
         Looking at the kids
         in the yard, she smiles;
         They don't know they’re
                       saved, again.



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