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"Misnomers"

Published:
December 14, 2023
February 20, 2023
Read this poem about that's about misnomers.|Read this poem about that's about misnomers.

From the seldom-cleaned
     bubbling tanks of local pet stores,

we “rescued” them—
     at least six over two years—

our yellow-bellied sliders,
     pet turtles transformed

into raceway drivers,
     no cars needed.

Five hundred feet
     of Hot Wheels track,

and we were unstoppable,
     piecing together sharp plastic

curves, loop-de-loops,
     the grand finale

a roller-coaster dive down
     two flights of carpeted stairs,

just in time for Sunday supper.
     The thrill of that push,

the silence of those who survived
     to “drive” again the routes we chose,

those who crashed too many times
     later transported to the outside arena

beneath the crowded Forget-Me-Nots
     alongside the expired fireflies,

the timid hamster,
     the too-slow buried hare.

Forgive us, goldfish and guinea pig,
     deer and garden snake.

Forgive us, all breathing creatures,
     our many trespasses

re-named in the name
     of “harmless play.”

Creators:
Marjorie Maddox
Published:
December 14, 2023
February 20, 2023
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