Art: Mark Collins
Stick figures are drawn,
and then, hung.
As children, what were we
supposed to learn from that
about body image?
Sometimes, they called me
a stick figure. It wasn’t meant
to be nice. Once, in front of
the other kids, my coach handed
me a big tub of peanut butter
and told me to eat it.
I wondered if I’d ever have
curves and if I’d be lovable
“That would be sensational!”
When people think of flamingos,
I think they think of pink and,
then, legs. Maybe they stand there,
for a bit, contemplating that beak
that was put on upside down
But, you know, if you really watch
a flamingo, you must conclude
that they are all about showing
off their curves.
Strut right, leg up, forward, down.
Left, leg up, forward, down. Lean
in, twist just so, make it hippy,
lift a little wing.
Paying attention to me now?
Stretch the long neck out, up, angle,
slowly now, in, start to tuck, roll,
bring the head around, look at that
shape, the sensational curves!
Hold for a count of five.
Do you still think we are alone
in the universe?
Every day, well almost every day,
when the painter takes a walk down
to the stream, he picks up a pebble
and gives it a name. Something, like:
He started doing this for the poet,
but those little stones claimed
his life too.
So, now, when it lands in the water,
with a plink or a plop,
what ripples forth, in row after
row of curves, is a two-fold blessing.
We are not alone.
And, there’s at least one more
thing to say about curves.
Look to the right, to the left,
in front, behind. Turn your head
Pay attention now. Notice that
we are all lovable.
Isn’t that sensational!
© 2019/Jamie K. Reaser
For a book collaboration in progress with artist Mark Collins
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