top of page

Girl on the Playground

by Margarita Bonifaz

I am by the side fence

holding my long dark braids

where else?

trying to keep myself safe

my job back then,

still is

in the center

of the field

there   you   are

you have gone wild with rage

Your red hair is flying

your words full of literary curses

Your genius went unrecognized

except I always saw it

So did Mrs. Sharkey

she was just so 

permanently mad at you

for being more engaging

than her damn lessons

You push the bully girl


She tumbles

She reaches for you

tears your green sweater

the only new thing

you own

I do not know 

how we found each other

or why we became fast friends

braiding each other's hair

yours, gold tinged red

mine, dark brown

we recognized 

wordless things

in the other 

I am trying to remember 

how you told me your secrets

all the trouble we got in

all the boys

all the recesses

spent inside

punishment for our glee

I do not know

how the hell I lost you

in this wounded world

But I think of you too often

How you gave me

tenderness and courage

what you saw in me

how you protected me

from the bully girl

and sometimes 

from myself

I met you again


at Lime Square Poets

you were reading one of your poems

Yes, brilliant

I thought

You have not lost your rage

your red hair

or your word filled talent


Margarita Bonifaz published her first poem, Fairy Toast, at age 7 in the literary journal The Phoenix.  During her 32-year teaching career she wrote mostly in the margins. Two of her stories were published in Peregrine Journal: Summer's Dance (1992) and Dr. Mercuvio and the Velvet Couch (1995). In recent years, she has taken her novel out of the drawer and has countless stories just sitting on her desktop. The only reason she is writing poems is so she has something to read on Thursdays at Lime Square Poets. She loves wild geese, Queen Anne's lace, astronomical twilight and believes in the medical value of sugar. 


bottom of page