Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Shape Shifter

Like a lot of people these days,
I’ve got a superpower,
but I leave the hero-ing
and the villain-ing
to others.
I simply don’t have enough time
with work and the kids
and my yoga classes,
and besides,
my superpower isn’t all that practical.

I can turn into different animals,
which sounds pretty cool,
but unfortunately, I never seem to
transform into the types of animals
that would be helpful
in saving someone from a burning building
or capturing a bank robber
or foiling a plot to end life as we know it.

Lying on the grass
and staring at the clouds above,
I’ve turned into a slick gray earthworm,
barely escaping the beak
of a giant robin
by burrowing into the black earth
until the danger passes,
my aortic arches pounding.
I don’t even know which end
is supposed to be my ass.

While putting laundry in the dryer
in the basement,
chilly on a winter’s day,
I’ll transform into a centipede
and horrify even myself
as I scurry around the basement
on my impossibly tiny legs.
Again, I can’t tell
which end is my ass.
I scream,
inaudible to you,
because it’s just so hard
when you can’t get anything done.

When I’m in the bath,
I can become a small coelacanth
and swim from one end to the tub
to the other.
Then when I hear a shrill “Mom!”
from the other side of the house,
I’m back to my normal self,
with wrinkled fingers
mousy brown hair dripping wet,
ancient fish thoughts
shifting back to my own.

I rise on pink human feet
that now seem foreign to me,
dry myself off with my pink towel,
call out with a ringing voice,
Then a small voice replies,
“Never mind.”
I turn into a fat green kakapo parrot then,
pacing and slipping on the wet tiled floor,
a small flightless bird
with a perpetual dumbfounded expression.

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