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Katie Donovan: a poem

Trimmed to Fit

My girl is feral:

roared like a lion

when she was seven.

Ten years on

she's a colt

shying at the fakeries

of her peers:

skin tamed to tan

from a bottle,

plastic lashes

stapled on,

hair waxed

from sensitive places.

They speak in altered,

confident drawls,

of glamour,

drink, and conquest;

cut each other

with brutal commentary.

My girl is terrified

of this: being pretty,

trimmed to fit,

and yet never

measuring up.

You might as well

put lipstick on the moon

as bridle her;

she walks

in her own orbit,



and in pain.

Katie Donovan has published five collections of poetry with Bloodaxe Books. Her most recent, Off Duty (2016), was shortlisted for the Irish Times/Poetry Now Prize. In 2017 she was the recipient of the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry.

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