A Writer in the Norton Introduction to Literature was Born in 1981


Her name is Alicia
And the photo next to the title
Of her story is a black and white shot
Wherein she rests her left cheek
Against her right denim-clad knee.
Her glowing face reveals
Baby fat on her cheeks.
Her closed-mouth smile is Mona-Lisaish
In its knowing.

I try to be open-minded.
1981. It’s 2014. That does make her 33,
After all.  After all. . . . for fuck’s sake,
She’s only 33!
And she’s in the 2355-page Norton anthology
(additional 49 pages Index of Literary Terms)
Right next to William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor
And John Updike and . . . calm, calm.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
The sky is not falling.

Yes it is! Yes it is! YES. IT. IS.
Cluck. Cluck. Cluck. Cluck. Cluck. CLUCKI! CLUCK!
Chick. Chick. Chick. Chick. CHICK! CHICK!CHICK! CHICK!
Uh oh.
I think I just laid an egg.

–Shaun Perkins

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