March Madness Poetry has begun, and I’m matched with Matt Forrest in the first round of the games. You can find our match here. If you’re reading this before 2:00 p.m. on Friday, you still have time to vote for your top picks for most of the round one poems, including my match. And if you’re a Friday night reader, rush over and vote for the second flight of the round one poems.
My assigned word for this round was dearth…and I had a dearth of ideas. But Matt’s word (appendages) seemed promising. I felt green with envy. After knocking my head against the keyboard for quite some time, I borrowed it. Who has a dearth of appendages? A snake!
The poem I wrote is a departure from my usual nonfiction fare. I started researching how snakes evolved from lizards into legless creatures and quickly realized that I was not going to write an interesting, child-friendly 8-line poem about the gradual shortening and loss of appendages that was better suited for tunnel-dwelling creatures. Could I come up with a just-so story? Well, I could try. To heck with my evolutionary biologist husband. I am now a proponent of Lamarckian inheritance–the more ridiculous the cause of the new trait, the better.
How the Snake Lost its Limbs: The Legend of Legless Lizzy
by Buffy Silverman
Long ago, in ancient times, a lizard left the ocean
to slog through bogs and stomp through swamps with leggy locomotion.
She raced past snails and paced with turtles, proud and in command–
until she spied Pteranodon who rose above the land.
For weeks she dreamed of soaring skies, then launched off from a mound–
but snapped her four appendages when crashing to the ground.
With loss of legs and dearth of hope, she never neared her goal.
She slithered through the swampy muck and snaked into a hole.
Matt’s approach to appendages was perhaps a tad more realistic–with a hint of pretzel and a side of tingles. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Check out all the Poetry Friday offerings today at The Drift Record!