Monday, November 4, 2013

Family Myth, a poem

I'm the monkey.

At dinner, a colleague says, “You’re so smart and talented.”
And I riffle through the words like the leaves of a cabbage.
Is there sarcasm at the heart?
She blinks at me, curious.
Her face says, “What?”
And so I heh-heh, thank her,
Change the subject to the band, the sweet potato fries.
But my eyes lock on the peripheral shadows.
I hope no one heard the exchange,
Because this is not the way of things.
Sam couldn’t carry the ring into Mordor.
Alfred didn’t get to strap on a hard body suit and save the girl.
Xander is and ever will be a Scooby.
And I…
I am not the smart one.
Her assertion is an affront to family myth.
Those others,
They are the smart ones.
They are [insert hoity-toity university here] graduates.
They have test scores
And degrees more worthy than mine.
Whereas, I am…
The one who incredulously read, “Loin King?”
The first time I saw a commercial for The Lion King.
I am the one who was crushed when my father said,
“No wonder you didn’t get into [his alma mater]!”
And laughed.
I am the one who attended college to meet boys,
My ambition, apparently, in my womb.
I am allowed to be the voracious flirt, 
(Nothing says working ovaries 
Like undulating hips and a coin slot in the bosom.)
I'm allowed to be...

The extrovert,
The athlete,
The brat,
I'm a groupie.
But not…
The smart one. 
So, take your accolades elsewhere. 
At best, I'm a side-kick. 
At worst, a groupie. 

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