Today's poem is by Tom C. Hunley
Self-Portrait as a Child's Stick Figure Drawing on a Refrigerator
"You are not what you think you are. You are something to be imagined."Clayton Eshleman
Often I'm a musical instrument
that's afraid of the sounds inside.
My days consist of arrayed efforts
not to hear or hum.
I'm like a baby who screams
at first seeing his arms swinging,
unaware those whips flung
straight at his head are attached to his body.
Why are you doing this to me?
a man asks his body as it fights sleep
and the crucial appendage droops after a woman
says okay, why not, after steak and lobster
and Sandra Bullock's latest formulaic schlock.
So spent, his body mocks him; he can't
fathom how he ever lifted the long-stemmed rose
he gave her, now drooping a little bit, too.
In my son's latest drawing labeled "Daddy,"
my hairs are stray spaghetti strands,
my head an oversized triangle crushing my stick-thin frame,
and a briefcase weighs down my three-fingered hand.
Often I feel sketchy like that, as if all the wrong colors
spill over my faint lines and anyone could cross me out
just like that. I haven't always felt like a stick figure.
I haven't always been an instrument
left forgotten in its case. I remember a time
in junior high when Doug Dickerson passed me
a pornographic flip book, the male stick figure's stick penis
getting bigger and bigger and the female stick figure's
stick legs getting farther and farther apart
until the stick figure bed broke and something hidden
deep inside me broke out, broke my body wide open,
Copyright © 2015 Tom C. Hunley All rights reserved
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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