Tuesday, October 7, 2008

From Claws to Paws

A while back,
I wrote a poem called Claws,
and did a sketch featuring a boy who
seems to prefer them to hands.


What if hands were claws?
Most of you would only see the flaws.
But I would have to pause
and do the math.
Imagining the jolly fun
of snapping sticks of chewing gum
in half.
And crouching like a lobster in the bath.

Something didn't seem right about it,
maybe the saying "do the math",
which is an annoying phrase used by annoying adults,
and doesn't relate to the idea of the poem.
I did like the image of snapping sticks
of chewing gum in half , though,
which sounds like fun.

Later, I rewrote the poem with bear paws instead of claws,
and the poem became about how words with the same
pronunciation have different meanings.
It appears in Soup for Breakfast, coming out next month.

Bear Paws

I wish I had bear paws
instead of hands.
No one understands.
Yes, there would be flaws,
but I could use my claws
to open cans,
and giant clams.
I could catch salmon
with my bare hands–
I mean my bare paws.
My bear paws.

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