The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Kathi Wolfe


Youíre a hunter out for the kill,
my Dad loved to hunt deer, growls
a man with the frayed beard voice.
Iím 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 Iíd had one last night, he says, it would
have knocked my wife into shape.

Iím 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,
whoís convinced my stick is a painterís 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.  

Whatís your handicap? asks a boy on the platform.
Grabbing my cane, he says, Iím ten.  Before my
Mom left my Dad to live with PeterĖthis jerk
with nose hairs and crooked earsĖshe 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 didnít
provide enough breathing room for their children.
The leopards disliked having spots.  Thereís
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 Iíd miss the gossip,
the cable that jumpstarts the divine.

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