Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life
by Jennifer Finstrom

“Moxie and a good sense of balance are essential when crawling on a      roof.”
Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life by Jennifer Worick

I inspect Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life
with a magnifying glass, hoping to find
the smallest connection between us. But I
don’t know Morse code or how to throw
my voice. I don’t drive a fancy blue roadster.
Nonetheless, the advice that “lipstick is not
just for looking glamorous; it can be used
to signal for help on windows and other
surfaces” convinces me that we are kindred
spirits, as does the notion that “dressing
well will open any doors, even those
connected to a top-secret factory.”

And while I suspect I lack physical courage
and don’t know how resourceful I might be
when faced with kidnappers, jewel thieves,
or smugglers, I’ll keep in mind that
“flowers sent by secret admirers might
be coated with poison” and the pragmatic,
“when confused, sit back and try to arrange
the facts into some kind of order.” I like
to believe I’d have plenty of moxie if I
needed it, that I could crawl on any roof,
no matter how high or how metaphorical.

PHOTO: (Left) Emma Roberts as Nancy Drew in the 2007 TV series. (Right) Recent photo of the author in her favorite cameo earrings.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have long been fascinated with Nancy Drew, but that fascination was revived this past summer when I bought a nearly complete set at a neighborhood-wide garage sale. I’ve since visited Nancy in poems multiple times and hope to continue doing so.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Finstrom teaches in the First-Year Writing Program, tutors in writing, and facilitates writing groups at DePaul University. She is the poetry editor of Eclectica Magazine, and recent publications include Escape Into LifeExtract(s), Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, and NEAT. For Silver Birch Press, she has work appearing in The Great Gatsby Anthology, the Alice in Wonderland Anthology, and in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks.

NOTE: “Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life” by Jennifer Finstrom inspired Silver Birch Press’s Nancy Drew Anthology, a 212-page collection of poetry, prose, and art released on October 1, 2016.