Paper Cheerleaders


fair-weather friends—

cut-out paper dolls unfolding
from white paper

cheering triumphs atop pyramids
successes, not struggles

overlooking sturdy shoulders
and bruising practice falls

you start to look the same
row after row

flat and colorless
strung between triangles of air—

pieces of you, missing
that harsh hands snipped away

crinkling and wavering
i see through you

i want to crumple you
pile you in the corner, without care

as missed shots at the wire basket
beneath my desk

because i have other shots to take
with more weight

than paper


Anna Kander is a writer in the United States. She writes with her sidekick, a fearless blue fish who doesn’t realize he’s only one inch tall. Her work is published in some magazines, probably. Find her at

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