“My Spirit Animal”

Originally posted 10/5/2009.

It’s one of those stolen concepts
that makes for easy internet memes
and casual adoption by everyone
from hipster ironists to hippie holdouts.

They choose the glamour critters
for their comfort and aggrandizement.
It’s all Hawk and Eagle, Crow and Bison;
none of it fits, all of it feels good.  If I were to play along

I’d admit there’s not nearly enough Wolf in me. 
Not enough ferocity, not enough
pack loyalty, not enough startle response and care
in the face of the world’s savagery and bounty.

As for Coyote, the smaller cousin,
the Trickster dog of dream and myth —
no, I’ve searched, and no bone of mine
holds a scrap of that holy canine.

No, I know my “spirit animal”
(if indeed I have such a thing)
is a snail or slug, unsure of which. 
Cold slimer, afterthought drip from a Creator

who gave up
on pinning me
to mammal ways
and instead said:

This one will understand
how progress is inexorable but excruciating.
His trail will always be traceable
to its source.  

He will understand
the nature of small and unnoticed lives
and the damage that can be done in the dark,
as ravaging as any drama and howling attack.

There are thanks to be offered
for such knowledge
but tonight,
it overwhelms me.

I have
no mouth or throat
to scream
for change.

All I can do is crawl
and hope no weight from above
falls onto me before
I get to where I belong.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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