Alice is now sixty with her battleship hips ungainly
despite the pills, the mushrooms and the diet drops,
all those thin cigarettes the worm turned her onto.
She sees her granddaughter, Dinah, flounce off near
a suspect rabbit-hole and the mystery overwhelms her.
She considers calling 999, donning a magic pick
and shovel, but the brat returns, untouched. Was
she ever that young? Her best friend all but abandoned
her the moment she bloodied her underpants, falling
off the roof. He blushed when he stammered that
the camera no longer loved her. For a year she bound
her breasts, pretended to like hot cocoa and treacle.
The Dees and Dums wanted to be her firsts, but frankly
they were too fat, too belligerent, too prone to fetish.
Her friend endured while one fiddled with her right
areola and the other with her left. Her friend grew hard
then pensive behind the lens, this had to be the end
of a checkered childhood. She finally confessed what
she really wanted, what she would later come to miss
was a needle-skip-skip-skipping Yes, or some savory
private endearment. In her heart, she wanted him
to thrust her straight into another White Rabbit’s house,
no longer blond but a widow’s peak of grey. She was not able
to believe in 6 impossible things a day, and never mind
lunchtime with those nasty diet Cokes. She wished her knights
to be dark, confident and titillating. The final humiliation,
was seeing her grandson change from a baby to a pig
right before her very eyes. That awful business with the snooker
table and the neighbor’s daughter Bunny. That DoDo Bird
accusing her and him of who knows what and when; who did it
and ran, again? And with which beast? This only brought up deep
feelings of shame, years of Twelve Step Work, memories that keep
her up nights, the scratching of her old friend’s nubby thick pen.