Russian Doll

All you see is outside me: my painted smile,
the rosy-posy shell, the fluttery eyes.
A butter-won’t-melt-in-my-mouth-type me.
 
But inside there’s another me, bored till playtime.
The wasting paper, daytime dreamer.
A can’t-be-bothered-sort-of me
 
And inside there’s another me, full of cheek.
The quick, slick joker with a poking tongue.
A class-clown-funny-one-of me.
 
And inside there’s another me who’s smaller, scared.
The scurrying, worrying, yes miss whisperer.
A wouldn’t-say-boo-to-a-goosey me.
 
And inside there’s another me, all cross and bothered.
The scowling hot-head, stamping feet.
A didn’t-do-it-blameless me.
 
And inside there’s another me, forever jealous
who never gets enough, compared.
A grass-is-always-greener me.
 
And deepest down, kept secretly,
a tiny solid skittle doll.
The girl that hides inside of me.

from The Language of Cat and Other Poems (Frances Lincoln, 2011), © Rachel Rooney 2011, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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