Glass Girl | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

It's hard to think about being a girl
without breaking into dance moves.
Somehow, I remember them all.

Strange how muscle memory is more
powerful than what the brain knows,
how neurons fire in my legs and arms

when I hear certain 8-counts of certain songs.
Cyndi Lauper, The Pointer Sisters, Robert Palmer
Addicted to Love, you might as well face it.

I'm wearing soft shoes, my hair in French braids.
I'm in the dance school waiting room
dropping coins in the pop machine

lifting the hinged door, then sliding
a glass bottle of Orange Crush
ice cold from a tiny compartment.

Each bottle has its own little room.
Only the best comes in glass —
that's what our parents taught us

because that's what our parents made,
green and brown, bottles, jugs
wide-mouth flint jars.

Heinz Ketchup in plastic squeeze bottles
was high treason in the condiment aisle.

Other parents made lids, corks, caps,
the factories side by side on a road that looped
a dead end around the old Casparis Mines.

Would you rather be the vessel or the seal?
Or would you rather be the liquid poured
inside, something to be contained?

— Karen Dietrich

Karen Dietrich lives in Greensburg, where she is an adjunct professor at Pitt-
Greensburg and WCCC. She is the author of three chapbooks, most recently
Understory, which will be published by Dancing Girl Press this spring. Her
poems and essays have appeared in The Bellingham Review, Weave Magazine,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and elsewhere. Dietrich's full-length debut, a
memoir, is forthcoming from Globe Pequot/Skirt in fall 2013. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on 90.5 FM.

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