Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chipping Wombats [poem]


Chipping Wombats

Australia is beaming from my television screen –
a pink-rimmed eye, surrounded with fur,
peeks out of a satchel.  Two men gather
the small beast from the bag like a bowling ball,
polished, rolled.  They smooth the fur
with a few pats, then introduce a needle.
Now they’ll know when she mates, where
she goes.  The next scene, they’re pulling
a koala cub from its mothers back, the baby’s
fingers like Velcro.  The mother breeds again,
as the men, laughing, shelter the infant’s eyes.
Last, the men are holding a platypus up
from the water by the tail; they’ve lucked up
on two huge males that were fighting.  Shirtless,
the men intervene, like Adam and his sons
must’ve done, before they’d even met
all the nature we’ve named now. 

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After missing writing the previous day's poem due to the stress of illness - both my own and my cat's - I knew I needed to rally and continue.  But my heart wasn't in it, and my mind was completely blank. 

When all else fails, write what's in front of you.

That Saturday morning, I watched one of those educational television programs the major networks have now in lieu of cartoons.  There were two men exploring and containing the Australian wilderness.  They were chipping wombats. 

So with Molly wrapped in a warm towel next to me, I wrote about the wombat. 

I wrote this poem on October 25, 2014 as part of Tupelo Press's 30/30 Project.

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