Kathryn de Leon: “Chickenpox”

Chickenpox   (1962)

I found the bump
below my belly button,

sitting on the toilet,
petticoat encircling me
like a queen’s grand hoop skirt,
feet dangling above the floor,
an angel too new
to get off the ground.

I rubbed the red bump,
pressed it
like a mysterious button,
wondering if anything would happen.
Nothing happened.

I’ve long forgotten the fever
and the countless bumps
that came out like twilight stars
all over my helpless skin.

I remember only that first bump,
one red blossom
in a field of smooth, white,
little girl skin,

and I remember innocence,
long before pubic hair,
long before sex,

life still white,
everything white,
except that single
red bump.



Kathryn de Leon has been writing poetry off and on since she was about nine years old. She lived most of her life in Los Angeles, but is now residing in England due to a life-long love of the Beatles. She’s had poems published in several small literary magazines.

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