A Passing Oryx by Lisa Alletson

POEM NAME: A Passing Oryx AUTHOR NAME: Lisa Alletson POEM: My tongue, this cotton sycophant betrays me where the school mothers gather in an unused classroom to talk about funding. Gossip and perfume swarm the air. I apologize when they mistake me for an old chair that one covered in mouldy lunchboxes. Vicious they sing of the principal's wig and did he wink at Emma’s Mum? Why would the teacher wear such a dress and what of her abortion last year? I close my eyes to stay unnoticed fall as a wet word into the Namib desert where a sandstorm crusts me dry. A dazzle of dunes shifts to gold and next to me, a fog beetle performs a headstand to drink dew from his feet. I absorb the wisdom of a passing oryx until he says, But what of her daughter’s crooked teeth and the stains on her shirt? I open my eyes to find the school mothers watching me, but remain content to stay a dead chair. END OF POEM. CREDITS: Copyright © Lisa Alletson An earlier version was published by Dodging the Rain, an online, Ireland-based journal on, 2020. Lisa Alletson writes to find peace. She has lived on three continents, and her writing draws from the cultural and geographical features of South Africa, England and Canada. Her poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction have been published in the Globe and Mail, Dreamers Creative Writing, Blank Spaces Magazine, Dodging the Rain, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Write Launch, Ginosko Literary Journal, 50-word Stories, and several anthologies. Lisa in Toronto and writes poetry nearly daily on Twitter @LotusTongue