Read Poems by Liz Labadie-Reilly

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Dreams and mini Beauty Queens


Held hostage in yards of lace and taffeta, they stand stiff and poised. 
Exhibiting a collage of
rhinestones and sequins sewn meticulously amongst every
frill and ruffle they rigidly 
parade the stage.
This gala event of frenzied competition - the infamous
 kiddie beauty pageant
Wearing pasty concrete smiles,
lost in confusing, tangled webs of lipstick and lollipop pops,
cheering and  cheerios .
Moving with “Stepford” precision
motivated by soda pop,
sugar cubes and wildly 
animated antics of off-stage parents.

A glitzy glamorous grownup world 
of poise and fashion while
at war with a pesky tooth fairy. 
Feeling one way but
primed to act another.
Behind false lashes,
coiffed hair, plastic teeth
the true innocent soul emerges.
Missed naps, fatigue,
 the looming possibility of failure
 guilt and disappointment
leaving trails of raccoon eyes,
and  tear stained powder streaked faces.
Encouragement or exploitation?
A lesson in mastering self expression and confidence
or a lesson that true self-worth
dependant upon one’s physical appearance?

One must ask what true values are being taught.

Copyright © Liz Labadie-Reilly | Year Posted 2016


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