At the mutant hospital
we grilled burgers and dogs
and listened to baseball on the radio.
What else could ease our rehabbing hearts?
Jimmy insisted on using bamboo chopsticks—
don’t ask me how he does it, but he does.
I nodded, but ate mine from the pocket of my glove.
Both of us sighed
knowing the Babe would be proud—
a hot dog between each finger
and a cigar after, or during,
as our preference allowed.
The nurse came to tell us to,
“put those OUT!”
But “OUT” means something different
when you’re on defense,
so, we just grinned victoriously
at her ever-increasing scowls.
From there in the yard,
we dreamed of donning our disguises
and escaping to our own field of dreams.
Me, in my beret,
trying to avoid people’s eyes
spinning like pinwheels
and glazing over
when I tell them I write poetry
(don’t look at me like that,
people have been writing it
since the dawn of time).
And Jimmy, dressed up
like a Spanish conquistador,
or a brightly colored piñata,
to avoid the inevitable comment
that he’s “too smart for his own good,”
which means he’s too smart for theirs.
But that’s why we’ve teamed up—
our gifts being misunderstood.
We know “mutant”
is another name for a special kind of
talent, a genius, a crackerjack.
And if you get it,
buy me some—
I don’t care if I never get back.
© 2024 Jennifer Wagner
I used 11 of the given words.