There were so many giants and tigers
and scary and exciting things before
that I am pretty tired now.
I almost don’t have the heart to tell you
my overalls fell off somewhere back there
and I’ve been running through the swamp
in my underclothes. Nothing turned out
as I had planned it in my Big Adventure Notebook
even though I dragged around a basket of provisions
in a little red wagon. Even though I hired
a really attentive watch dog our hiding place was pillaged
and stripped for spare parts and sold at a chop shop.
Someone stomped out all my luminarias—
I’m not a fool. I know they weren’t essential,
but I like pretty things on fire; I like cat-o-nine tails.
Unexpectedly, a spontaneous band
moved in on our picnic table
halfway through the egg salad sandwiches.
We had to share and now I’m half naked
without dinner plans. And yes, by ‘my overalls’
I meant ‘your overalls’ and I am sorry
and I am sticky. And you are more talented at espionage,
which, I’m not ashamed to say, makes me jealous,
and frankly, surprised. From now on
I will watch you closer, little bear, little beast.
Well, things are not very good around here anymore.
No clothes to wear. No raisins for the oatmeal.
I think it’s time we revved our engines if only
to make sure they still turn over. I knitted
a trampoline that will send us over the perimeter wall.
I am almost sure we can clear it and you won’t be splat
like a pancake. We will need a lot of hidden compartments
in our sneaking gear, if only to hold things closer to us.
Last time, I think I may have lost too much.
Everything we’re planning is so full of promise,
I think. I worry sometimes that I am going too far,
but then I always bring you along like a safety net,
which is also like a trampoline, a little.
You are so careful when you swallow those light bulbs!
You are so thoughtful with your comfortable shoes.
We can learn to be python bounty hunters.
The government would give us a hundred bucks a pop,
and we could sell the meat and skins ourselves,
which would be like a gold mine, only we could call it
“a snake mine.” What could go wrong? If we looked
especially keen while hunting, we could maybe
have a show on the Discovery Channel.
Caroline Cabrera is chapbook editor for Slope Editions. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in H_NGM_N, The Denver Quarterly, and Interrupture. Her chapbook, Dear Sensitive Beard, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.