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"Little Girl"

When We Wake in the Night, poems by Tami Haaland

She's with Grandma in front
of Grandma's house, backed
by a willow tree, gladiola and roses.

Who did she ever want
to please? But Grandma
seems half-pleased and annoyed.

No doubt Mother frowns
behind the lens, wants
to straighten this sassy face.

Maybe laughs, too.
Little girl with her mouth wide,
tongue out, yelling

at the camera. See her little
white purse full of treasure,
her white sandals?

She has things to do,
you can tell. Places to explore
beyond the frame,

and these women picking flowers
and taking pictures.
Why won't they let her go?

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Tami Haaland
Tami Haaland

Tami Haaland is Montana's current Poet Laureate, and the author of two books of poetry: Breath in Every Room, winner of the Nicholas Roerich Prize from Story Line Press, and When We Wake in the Night, a finalist for the May Swenson Award, and the collection in which "Little Girl" was published.

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