A Poem to start off with

This poem was in one of my college textbooks, and it’s stuck with me all these years. I dug it up today:

“Fat”-Conrad Hilberry

Wait. What you see is another person
hanging here. I am the girl who jumps
the Hodgman’s fence so quick they never see me.
Skipping rope, I always do hot peppers.
But once on the way home, I got in a strange
car. I screamed and beat on the windows,
but they smiled and held me. They said I could go
when I put on the costume, so I climbed
into it, pulled up the huge legs,
globby with veins, around my skinny shins,
pulled on this stomach that flops over itself,
I pushed my arm past the hanging elbow fat
down into the hand and fingers, tight
like a doctor’s glove stuffed with vaseline.
I hooked the top behind my neck, with these
two bladders bulging over my flat chest.
Then I pulled the rubber mask down over
my head and tucked in the cheek and chin
folds at the neck, hiding the seam. I hate
the smell. When they pushed me out of the car,
I slipped and staggered as though the street
was wet with fish oil. You see what this costume is.
If you will undo me, if you will loan me a knife,
I will step out the way I got in.
I will run on home in time for supper.


About mythicstories

Allison Stieger is a mythologist, writer, teacher and workshop leader who is passionately interested in the intersection between myth, creativity, innovation and culture. She is available for classes on many topics related to myth including writing and creativity, embodiment and myth, and general myth instruction.
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