tricia american girl
The Nixons and Me
by Tricia Marcella Cimera

There was cool, elegant Pat Nixon.
But I wasn’t a Pat, oh no.
There was the daughter,
beautiful, blonde Tricia Nixon.
We shared the same name
though I was years younger.
Then there was Richard.

Oh, Richard Nixon. How my dad
hated him, how he gnashed
his teeth at Tricky Dick, how
he danced in glee at his undoing.
Nixon, he would hiss and
I would shudder in horror.
Whatever the guy had done —
and I hadn’t a clue —
I knew there was no worse name.

Sometimes during that summer
of the gates and the water
(or something),
people would ask if I was named
after that Tricia. I would widen
my eyes, with a shiver, and
exclaim Oh, no, no! I’m no Nixon!
No, no, no — not me.

IMAGE: Tricia Nixon on the cover of American Girl magazine, June 1969.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The Watergate hearings preempted my cartoons and that was my main beef with Richard Nixon at the time. I always thought Tricia Nixon was so pretty and secretly wouldn’t have minded being named after her (I wasn’t).


Tricia Marcella Cimera
is an obsessed reader and lover of words. Look for her work (some forthcoming) in these diverse places: the Buddhist Poetry Review, Dead Snakes, Foliate Oak, Fox Adoption Magazine, Hedgerow: A Journal of Small Poems, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Mad Swirl, Silver Birch Press, and Yellow Chair Review, as well as others. Tricia volunteers locally, believes there’s no place like her own backyard, and has traveled the world. She lives with her husband and family of animals in Illinois/in a town called St. Charles/by a river named Fox. Don’t call her Pat.