Friday, April 13, 2012

NaPoWriMo 13/30

I didn't even look at the NaPoWriMo prompt for today. I've had this poem in my head for years now, and it popped into my the front of my thoughts this morning. 

I've Always Been Fond of Salamanders*

On a particularly frustrating night I found myself sliding 
Open the back door to sneak out for a quiet smoke.
I sat down on the green cooler, my usual resting spot
Along the strip of cement I call backyard. 
I puffed and sat, lamenting life, 
Immersed in the push and pull of breath and idea
And the seemingly infinite night sky, 

Then it was over, a final exhalation, I stood, 
Turned, glanced down at the cooler, 
And saw I'd been sitting on a salamander.

I wanted to cry, bent to gently prod its tacky skin 
To see if it had survived,
And because the salamander was in a groove 
Running along the front of the cooler lid 
Meant for measuring fish, 
It was alive, had somehow managed to escape 
The pressure of being sandwiched
Between the weight of my body and the cooler's coarse plastic.
Shocked, I picked the creature up, 
Wondered how, why it was there. 
My house is nowhere near any real source of water. 
I'd never seen a salamander anywhere in the area. 
It was weird, too synchronistic.

There's no denying it. 
My totem animal paid me a visit 
And I sat on him and smoked a cigarette. 

*This poem is based on a true story, wherein I did sit on a beautiful salamander, possibly an Ensatina. I had never, before or after that time, seen a salamander of that kind (or any else) anywhere around my house, never.


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