That’s the drug – a draft of this nectar
can own me into the next life for an accolade
you barely recall.
Quiet my fears with the smile and nod
I awaited endlessly at war zone dinner tables, parentless
performances and lonely surgeries.
and it’s ok not to have been born a son,
to be funny, a tree climber and never a prom queen
to get migraines.
and I could weep, run,
dance, spread my arms to this fast warming world
in joy, terror and love.
Father would quiz me at the dinner table
on my academic failings.
“What’s the capital of Wisconsin?” he’d inquire as I mixed peas into my mashed potatoes.
“Where’s Patagonia?” he’d demand as I twirled spaghetti onto my fork.
“Spell squirrel.” he’d order as I lifted a forkful of pot roast to my lips.
My mind would freeze – my brain become empty as a clear frozen lake
and the scared rabbit of my heart would skitter across the ice seeking shelter.
Finally I ‘d pull from somewhere
and the meal would resume its course.
To this day, I prefer to eat alone and
direct questions hit me like the Artic Express,
blasting away all thought.
People think I’m arrogant or not-too-bright.
They can’t see that small rabbit
skating frantically for the far shore.