Kathi Wolfe


You’re a hunter out for the kill,
my Dad loved to hunt deer, growls
a man with the frayed beard voice.
I’m buying a ticket to New Haven or anywhere
away from Hunter Man, who insists my white
cane is a walking stick that could really scare
the bejesus out of you if you used it the right way.
Wish I’d had one last night, he says, it would
have knocked my wife into shape.

I’m sitting at the counter of the Oyster Bar,
cane collapsed.  You look like a waif
held together by paperclips, whispers
a woman smelling of lemon and garlic,
who’s convinced my stick is a painter’s brush.
I paint, too, she says, drunks, trees, spaghetti,
faces, once estranged, now intimate, chimps.
I see so many pictures in your bloodshot eyes,
marvels the New Rousseau.  

What’s your handicap? asks a boy on the platform.
Grabbing my cane, he says, I’m ten.  Before my
Mom left my Dad to live with Peter–this jerk
with nose hairs and crooked ears–she took me
to see Tiger Woods at the Masters.  That almost
made up for their fights.  I wannabe like Tiger.
Tiger Wannabe takes a ball from his pocket
and swings at it with my stick.  I bet you
practice your swing a lot, he says.


In the beginning, I flexed my muscles.
Strutting like a peacock chugging Red Bull,
I shoved the planets into the right places
(mountains weighed a ton!), ordered
the parrots to talk on cue, told the apes
to get a move on evolution and warned
the first boy and girl (what were their names?)
not to become know-it-alls.  I wanted to be The Boss.  

Not for long.  The ants insisted I scrunch
down and test the security of their hills.
The kangaroos complained their pouches didn’t
provide enough breathing room for their children.
The leopards disliked having spots.  There’s
a stigma against bodily difference, they murmured.
The humans demanded a cure for tone-deafness,
sibling rivalry, color blindness, dandruff and zits.  

Eons ago, I stepped down as CEO, leaving
the universe to run by committee, will-of-the-wisp,
hit or miss.  Yet my creatures still talk to me, 24/7.
Of toddlers writing symphonies, Park Avenue doctors
killing their wives, injured turtles retiring from the sea.
Some days I get tired of being the Big Ear and want
to jump ship.  But, how I’d miss the gossip,
the cable that jumpstarts the divine.

Kathi Wolfe

Kathi Wolfe’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Potomac Review, Not Just Air, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Gargoyle,, Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly, Kaleidoscope, and Breath&Shadow.  In 2004 and 2006, Wolfe received a writer’s grant from Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT.  She has read at many Washington, D.C., area poetry series, including the Library of Congress Poetry at Noon series.  In 2006, Wolfe received a Puffin Foundation grant for her work on a chapbook of poems on Helen Keller, and in 2007 she will be featured on the radio show “The Poet and The Poem.”



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Sandra Staas

Paul Kareem Tayyar

Naomi Thiers

Davide Trame

Jean Tupper

R.J. Van Zandt

Sharlie West

Barbara M. White

Terence Winch

Kathi Wolfe

Ernie Wormwood

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