Chameleon - UBC's Journal of Children's Literature
v 1 n 1
Spring 2003

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by Ginger Mullen

Truth Truth, Dare
Double dare
Promise to repeat

Four neighbourhood girls with poker faces,
smoking cigarette butts, each hoping
that Neely's mom will return before her next turn,
before the stakes get too high.

Shirley makes a random call.
"Hello, is your refrigerator running?
Well, you'd better go catch it!"

Neely smooches
a pillow, leaving bright pink doughnuts
on good cotton linen.
"My mom is going to freak!"

Double dare.
Linda runs through hallways
saturated with smells of tenants' dinners.
"Help! I'm having a baby!"

They usually ask questions
about boys or bras.
Neely takes a chance: "Nikki,
what's it like,
with your mom dead?"

With a ghost of a whisper, she says,
"She'd be furious
if she saw me smoking."

Four girls stare at the ashtray.
Three girls get up to go home.
Two girls have voiced the unspoken.
Truth is left alone.
Illustration by Kathryn Shoemaker    
Read by Ginger Mullen   

Chameleon: UBC's Journal of Children's Literature

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