The Creature (2015)

The creature born with scaly skin and large eyes said, “I must be a lizard,” and spent her days as lizards do.

All her greens and browns gave her comfort that she belonged.

But alone she would lose her colors, she would start to disappear whenever no one was near, and she began to think she was no lizard after all.

She wandered in search of the place where she really belonged.

She came upon a flock of flamingos who said, “Just look at your pretty pink feathers, new friend!” and she marveled with joy that all this time she’d been a flamingo underneath.

All her oranges and pinks gave her comfort that she belonged.

But alone she would lose her feathers, she would start to disappear whenever no one was near, and she began to think she was no flamingo after all.

She wandered in search of the place where she really belonged.

She came upon a herd of zebra who said, “Just look at your wide, crazy stripes, new friend!” and she marveled with joy that all this time she’d been a zebra underneath.

All her blacks and her whites gave her comfort that she belonged.

But alone she would lose her stripes, she would start to disappear whenever no one was near, and she began to think she was no zebra after all.

She wandered in search of the place where she really belonged.

She came upon a swarm of butterflies who said, “Just look at your gorgeous soft wings, new friend!” and she marveled with joy that all this time she’d been a butterfly underneath.

All her blues and her yellows gave her comfort that she belonged.

But alone she would lose her wings, she would start to disappear whenever no one was near, and she began to think she was no butterfly after all.

And she trembled and whispered to her butterfly friends, “I’m not sure what I am anymore.”

The butterflies cried, “Well of course you’re one of us! But if you’re really not sure, ask the Owl.”

She flew to the top of the tallest tree to the hole where the great Owl lived. “Excuse me? I’ve heard you can help me find out who I am.”

The great Owl replied, “You’re an owl, of course! Just look at your tufts of grey fuzz, new friend!”

But the creature grew hot and exclaimed, “But I’m NOT an owl! I came here to ask for your help because I don’t know what I could be.”

“What you could be? Don’t you know all the things you were?” asked the Owl incredulously. “For in order to know what kind of thing you are, you must remember the things you’ve been.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand,” said the creature. “I’ve been many things. I’ve been a lizard, a flamingo, a zebra, a butterfly, and now an owl, but I don’t know which one was me.”

“Then my dear, perhaps you’re a chameleon. That’s not such a bad thing to be. Chameleons can blend in wherever they choose, and be whoever they wish.”

“A chameleon?” asked the creature, excited. “But are there others just like me?”

And the Owl replied, “No one’s just like you. But there are other chameleons- you’ve met a few.” He whistled through the trees and they came into view- two lizards, a flamingo, a zebra, and three butterflies. “We’re all chameleons, too!”

“Sometimes,” said the Owl, “you get to choose what you’ll be, but deep down you’ll always be you.”

And the creature was happy because then she knew- the best thing she could be was herself, no matter what she looked like.

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The First Try

On the first try I had
too many kids
and couldn’t get them all
to sleep.

The second I looked down
at my pelican legs
and thought
“Now that I think,
who are you anyway?
Who are you
to have this many kids?”

Last week it was
fussing at a wedding,
you can’t play that song in here,
and since then I’ve listened to it
twelve more times
and that’s just one more
troubled kid
I dredged up.

If they ever sleep,
they live to wake,
oh lord,
no rest for me.

Yesterday it was #5,
today it’s back to #3
and the time in between
I didn’t learn.

If only I’d been super then,
sober then,
saner then,
safer then,
smarter back then.

I suppose I’d have
different children now,
baby elephant legs besides.

On the third try
I remembered that
and here we are,
look what I can do

’til the next,
oh lord,
child wakes.

Day 36 – The Difference

If you were ten
I’d be six;
if you were starting school
I’d be a baby,
if I was starting college
you’d be leaving it
and we’d have never met.

If you ask me,
it’s pretty lucky
that you were 29 drinking coffee
and I was 25 drinking tea;
that I wasn’t looking for a man like you
and you weren’t looking for me.

The difference was only
experience-
a teapot ready to boil-
two flowers ripe
to reach towards the sun,
the past laying ground
for one moment
when everything
was ready.

And the difference
doesn’t matter now,
we’re both 4 and 12 and 21,
reliving every stage again
together.

Day 34 – Knock-Off Theme Park

Knock-off theme parks,
I salute you
for doing your best
and being just as good
as the giants who’d crowd you out.

A coaster’s still a coaster
without a trademarked face:

your teacups are chili bowls,
your cartoons are cowboys,
but your cotton candy’s fresh

and there’s no product placement
in the bathroom.

You’re filled with the kids
who can’t afford DisneyLand™
and for that alone
I give you props.

Day 14 – Waking Up Early For School

After thirteen years
and four more
there was no escape from school
for me.

I walked right back into that fire.

It has its perks but
I’ll never get used to knowing
I’ll be waking up early for school
for the rest of my life.

At least
there’ll always be
kids
to teach me.

Breaking: Motherhood is 100% More Fulfilling Than Anything You’ll Ever Do

According to a recent survey of pretty much every Mom ever, squeezing a small human out of your nether regions is equally the most burdensome and the most rewarding thing any female can do. While the hardships of birth and child-raising are enough to guarantee pity and guilty faux-respect from bystanders for a lifetime, the enlightenment of the experience ensures that moms get to hold it over their heads for just as long.

“It’s almost as if God himself came down and blessed my uterus with my own special little angel, and while he was at it he granted me all this insight and wisdom that non-moms just can’t understand,” said one chronic procreator. “I’m pretty much a sacred vessel of the future.”

This mom-specific wisdom has been the subject of much controversy among those selfish non-moms who obviously don’t care that there will be no one around to take care of them when they’re old.

“I don’t believe becoming a mother inherently endows someone with extra knowledge or experience that couldn’t be gained elsewhere, such as in professions which work closely with other people’s children,” said one bitter old shrew, Alexa Green. “Fulfillment can be gained from caring for children regardless of biology, such as in the case of adoption, as well as numerous other childcare occupations.”

But Alexa’s just a teacher, so what the hell does she know? At age 39 with no children of her own, she’s probably bitter that no one wanted to procreate with her, or that she chose an occupation which left her too poor to support a family. Even though she states that her “childfree” life was a choice, we know all it’ll take is the right man to come along and change her mind.

As for those women who have yet to experience the sheer miracle that is motherhood, we’re assured that it’s everything anyone has ever dreamed of and more, and it’s definitely right for you, despite what you may believe. Even this CharNN reporter now understands that she was a fool to ever believe in a socially-evolved society wherein women could aspire to anything greater.

Year 2: Day 137 – A Gallon Of Tears

A gallon of tears cannot be traded in
for any promise that they served a purpose.
The scars that we bear are no guarantee
that necessary surgery ever took place.

He has not condemned us to suffer.

But my God is a father who permits his kids
to forge ahead any stubborn way we choose
and all my heartache, I know,
I have brought upon myself.

But my God is, more, a father who loves his kids,
who holds my hand through every dark night.
Every gallon of tears, he dries;
every scar I bear, he heals.

And what greater offering could I give
than to let my father set the path before me,
since the path that I had chosen only ever has brought me
heartache, tears, and scars?