Wednesday, February 28, 2024



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 piƱata,

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


For Shay’s Word Garden Word List—Shakespeare Bats Cleanup

I used 11 of the given words.



Fireblossom said...

Hoorah! Over the fence! I'm grinning here. I especially loved eating from the pocket of the glove, and the "too smart" reversal and of course, the ending. I'm a mutant, too. Go, Mutants! Heyyyyyyyyyy batta batta batta!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I LOVE this so much! I have a son who could be one of this crowd - too brilliant to be understood by mere mortals, especially nurses. Smiles. I enjoyed every line.......especially their gifts being misunderstood, as most geniuses experience this. I loved the hot dogs between each finger, and their refusal to put out their cigars. Loved this.

alan1704 said...

I was fascinated by this - Living all my life in England, it was almost like reading a different language - very interesting

Thor said...

So much fun! Amusing, almost like a dream. Brilliant!

Helen said...

You are SAFE!! Jimmy too!! What a rollicking, beautifully penned tale of "wherever you may be"
endless fun.

Jo said...

Wonderful! THere's so much happening in here. I love the characters and the movement. I love the sense of fun and the attitude. It seems like the characters are meant to be downtrodden and repressed but they're not at all. Just lovely.

Dora said...

Is it mutant to be content in your own skin?! So few people really are. Loved this!