Fierce Girl Playing Hopscotch by Alice Fulton
You sway like a crane to the tunes of tossed stones.
I am what you made to live in
from what you had: hair matted as kelp, bad schools.
Oh, you will never know me. I wave and you go
on playing in the clouds
boys clap from erasers. I am the pebble
you tossed on the chalked space and war-
danced toward, one-leg two-leg, arms treading air.
In this, your future, waves rechristen the sea
after its tiny jeweled lives
that hiss “Us Us” to the shore all day.
Where’s the kid called Kateydid? the moonfaced
Kewpiedoll? The excitable pouting
Zookie? The somber O-Be-Joyful?
Lost girl, playing hopscotch, I will do what you could.
Name of father, son, ghost. Cross my heart and hope.
While the sea’s jewels build shells and shells
change to chalk and chalk to loam and gold
wheat grows where oceans teetered.
In “Fierce Girl Playing Hopscotch”, a poem by Alice Fulton, the author uses nicknames, childhood games, and enjambment to convey a sense of childhood innocence. Fulton uses nicknames to illustrate the familiarity and the intimacy between the persona and their friends as they wonder: “Where’s the kid called Kateydid? / the moonfaced Kewpiedoll? The excitable pouting / Zookie? The somber O-Be-Joyful?” (Fulton, 12) When you are a child, you often tend to make nicknames for each other because they are more fun! The persona makes up nicknames that relate to their friends, like the “stick thin grasshopper,” and the “round-faced doll”. Fulton uses childhood games to show the persona’s happiness through hopscotch. Since the persona lives a hard life, they play hopscotch to try to get away. They are lost in their own little world: “Lost girl, playing hopscotch, I will do what you could”. (15) Fulton also uses enjambment, the running on of the thought from one line to another, to suggest the idea of childhood innocence. Children often use run on sentences. “Oh, you will never...
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