Shine Like Dolly

A Taliswoman Short

Leah Welborn
The Shortform

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Original Artwork by the Author

She’s the first person I remember wanting to be. I loved how she made me feel — captivated. Joyful. I wanted to make other people feel that, but I was three years old and I didn’t know those words. I just knew she was a glamorous woman with big boobs who smiled a lot and had a sweet singing voice. So I tried to emulate her as best I could, with mismatched balloons in my little shirt and jump rope into which I warbled about Jolene.

A little girl with long hair poses next to a tree. She has mismatched balloons in her little shirt and is holding the end of a jump rope.
Photo of the author, taken by her mother (c. 1976)

But surely no one could steal Dolly’s man. If that was the case, what hope was there for the rest of womankind?

Now I think I see her more clearly; Dolly Parton is a tzaddik, and while I no longer want to be her, I still want to emulate her.

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Leah Welborn
The Shortform

Empower Your Magical Self with me. I'm the Mystic Autistic, a writer and spiritual baddie. LeahWelborn.net.