She Wanted More
by Vaughn Neeld
           with Janet Rode

She always longed for more but lived with less
during those soul-strangling days of depression and dust–
always dirty, ragged, worn thin,
tired from picking cotton and tending her mother's children.
Disappointment always held her hand;
she married the man she didn't love–
always hoping for more but finding less.
He bought her a pendant once–it was cheap,
she wanted more. She wanted to be seen–
longed to be a movie queen.
She tried to dance and couldn't sing.
She paid for a head shot, passed it round,
but it was all for nought,
so she shifted to a different dream.
"I'd rather be a big fish in a little pond
than a little fish in a big pond," she claimed,
and returned to the hills she'd left behind.
She made a name for herself,
gathered some local fame;
at one time, everyone knew her name.

I study her face in the photo I love–
her striking eyes and bleached-blonde hair–
and the dime-store treasure I now revere.


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