Today's poem is by Sandra Beasley

The Platypus Speaks

As far as the duck-billed platypus goes,
I'd like to point out there's no other kind
of platypus. You don't say horse-hooved deer
or moth-winged butterfly. A beast should be
her own best description. I deserve that,
having survived a hundred thousand years

of You would make a fine-looking hat. Years
take their toll—the right ovary that goes
on the fritz every time, flat feet, and that
tangled mess of our sex: ten different kinds
of X, Y, and yeah, blind dates tend to be
a disaster. We're not sluts like the deer;

it's June through October only, my dear.
Then we build deeper burrows for the year,
each dirt plug a form of daycare. To be
a mom must suck
, or so the saying goes,
except we've got no teats—only a kind
of belly-gulley, where milk pools so that

the platypups can lap it up. Take that,
Disney. Bambi's mom was never a deer
daiquiri. Takes a particular kind
of woman to do that for seven years,
twins every time, while the deadbeat dad goes
back to his bachelor pad. He must be

so satisfied—lazy as a queen bee—
stroking his only weapons, hind spurs that
barnacled to his ankles. Out he goes
with enough venom to kill angry deer,
but would he save me from hunters? No.Years
teach me not to expect a card, a kind

Mother's Day word, or flowers of any kind.
There's no alimony in the wild, beware.
Even minor developments take years.
But evolution's crawl has its perks: that
way I track electric waves, swift as deer,
swiveling to go as the hot shrimp goes,

each soul-spark a kind of beacon. If that
makes me the bad guy, Disney, be a dear:
wait a thousand years, then see how it goes.

Copyright © 2009 Sandra Beasley All rights reserved
from Black Warrior Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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