The Alchemy of Turning Adversity into Art...

By Adair Ferdon

Free floating
In the night, I listen to The Stubborn Light of Things
a good bedtime story.
Not tonight.
I depended on the cats to alert me
Now they're dead and under the Blue Spruce,
Ching spooning Secret, his sister.
I hear sounds outside,
crumpling plastic tarp,
Almost the witching hour.
I have a borrowed wildlife camera.
Discover missing footage,
Evil afoot.
Am I losing it.
You know it.
Tethers the free floating.
The cameras are multiplying.
Now they are three
In camouflage or basic black.
Self doubt is not my friend,
Paranoia has moved into the garage.
Sleeping in the maid's room,
so far from my mother.
I still believed she could protect me
My little sister, useless,
is snoring in the other twin.
The closet door is open.
What lurks behind my wool parka?
My boots with the L and R on the inside?
No one wants you. No one.
Sarah coaches me in Normal.
normal, forgettable outfits,
The Leo in me silently rebels.
Speechless, I beg internally.
At least a few occasions to wear the dress with the wide skirt and big lavender flowers.
I was the high school tiger,
did flips and aerial cartwheels at halftime.
My tiger suit too big,
I'd forgo the hat with ears.
My tail got in the way,
a weird stuffed appendage.
A different outfit for summer,
made by someones mom,
barred belly,
black frog closures.
The asphalt so hot it was soft.
Excelsior Minnesota where the roller coaster lived,
A three mile parade.
In peripheral vision,
my fellow twirlers.
I see nothing else as
I disappeared into Tijuana Brass,
the heat,
the spinning baton,
my ability to catch it,
normally terrible at catching things.
I still have that baton,
sometimes unwatched I spin it,
just to see if at 70 I remember the moves.