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Joanne the Poet - The Poetry of Joanne M. Clarkson

Poem about ‘loss’ in pacificREVIEW 2022

Last spring I read a news article about how the Shriners’ organization had donated Barbie dolls with prosthetic legs to girls who also had artificial limbs. This caused me to wonder how I would feel if I was a little girl and received such a gift. I wrote a poem about it, incorporating the fairytale about the tin soldier without a leg who fell in love with a ballerina whom he mistakenly thought was also missing a leg. I needed to write the poem and I wondered if it would find a home in print since the subject matter was unusual. When I saw that pacificREVIEW, the literary magazine at San Diego State University, was asking for writing on the theme of ‘loss’ I sent this and several other poems. They accepted “The Left Leg” and it just appeared in their annual print edition. The cover reads: “Atlantis and other lost places” and the material included does indeed cover a wide range of losses, many dealing with some aspect of death. As a child I loved my dolls; they enacted many life scenarios for me. I think my poems do this now.

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