Even when I was just an infant, my mother says
I hated being tucked in, weighed down,
albeit by a piece of cloth. I would squirm and squiggle
my way out from under, until the blanket was a crumpled
heap at my feet. Then, I would stuff my chubby fists
into my mouth
and gurgle a happy gurgle.
Upon turning four I discovered the wonders
of superman and airplanes and birds- how they were built to fly.
Naturally, I put on my underwear, spread out my arms
and zoomed brazenly across the streets. You see,
I was at an age where ignorance was abound-
of judgmental eyes and accusatory tones. When they asked
me to put on pants, I would point to
the animals; when they told me a bird
would lay eggs in my crow-nest hair, I delighted
in the possibility of learning to soar. When they gave me shoes,
I refused to crush the grass beneath them. The earth
was my feral nourishment.
The native Americans, they believe
that every member of the tribe has
nine spirit animals. They guide them through
to the very end. Yet the totem, the protector,
shares your core, knows you in ways you
may never know yourself, right down
to your pygmy heart.
As I grew up,
I began to grow in.
I folded my wings, puckered empowerment
cleaned out the filth cached beneath my toes,
smoothed the hair,
pruned the extras,
tucked the excesses,
straightened the gait, fell bait
to their taming.
You see, they were built to tame,
to declaw paws into feet,
wings into arms,
flight into a stroll,
dreams into reality.
They almost had me thinking
that there is sovereignty in these
Tell the wolves
I’m coming home.