The hunt in the deep green forest is wild, animals moving
packed like lightning. Mysterious, day-glo animals line the insides
of your fertile kid mind. Animals busy, so busy, with the
Big Business-y agenda of windy adults: An Agenda to Ignore You.
Like a wounded Child Captain, you might brave the seas of
loneliness and mutiny with some silent sense of inner indignancy,
some belief in your situation’s inherent injustice, but it’s safer,
usually, to believe that you are actually somehow to blame.
It’s a jungle out there, sailor. But it’s fun to figure out where
the freaky lion is going and why, to fantasize and opine.
He is not like the others: A striped plush animal,
not hard Taiwanese plastic.
What to compare the shade of his manly cotton stripes to?
Is it properly called tan? Or caramel?
or Carmel even, like a robe religious.
Or maybe you think of tawny lit Camels–Do lions like to smoke?
Because you know you need to figure out what he really needs,
what he really loves, deep down: deep down in his
King of the Jungle, psychedelic, phantasmagoric soul,
because in the end he might be
the One Who Takes Care of You Someday.
It is best to plan for this, count on it, obsess over it.
Someday he will love you back, you dream and pray and hope.
Run your fingers through his long, chestnut colored yarn mane,
Trace the tight, embroidered stitches on his enormous cartoon eyes.
It is best, you think, to have a best friend
nearly completely within your control.
Stephanie Sarwal was once a tax attorney who wrote creatively (and surreptitiously!) in between client projects. She is now a mother of five who writes creatively and only slightly less surreptitiously in between diaper changes and carpool runs in and about the suburbs of DC. Her latest poem, “He Who Hides,” is scheduled to be published in the Spring Issue of Clockwise Cat.