How to be Young

1.     Line your bed with every stuffed animal

until poly-cotton fluff

outweighs box springs.

Tuck each one in at night.

Make sure that none feel lonely.


2.     Pair purple and orange tights

with neon green tutu,

Wonder Woman shirt,

and Batman cape.

Garnish with sun-and-moon

wizard hat. Take on the world.


3.     Eat chocolate chip waffles topped with

Superman ice cream and sliced strawberries

for breakfast at Grandma’s. When Mom complains,

add bacon, ignore the sugar,

and show her how well everything fits

on the food pyramid

your teacher gave you.


4.     Learn a new jump rope song each week—

Cinderella dressed in yella

went upstairs to kiss her fella.

Count the number of doctors it takes

to cure her snakebite

until the plastic beads of the rope

leave their own bite stinging on your ankles.


5.     Ask for help with math,

reading, writing,

and building your

block city with its maze-like

Thomas the Train tracks.


6.     Ignore all of the rules


and especially,



Rachel Geffrey is a Pittsburgh native studying Creative Writing, Psychology, and Gender Studies at Chatham University. She has been published in Cicada, Quail Bell Magazine, The Skinny Poetry Journal, Life in 10 Minutes, and The Minor Bird, and is still trying to decide what she wants to do when she grows up.