Weekly Poem: ‘Tale’
By Natasha Saje
At a party a woman tells the guests
she’s got a tail, and I of course think
she means a story, but then she gets up,
and emerging boldly from her skirt, is her tail.
It’s mouse gray, but strong, strong enough
for climbing. And oh, on the end it’s got a hand,
covered in fur, reaching past her knees when she stands.
She wraps it around her hips when it’s not wanted.
By now the others have lost interest,
they’re watching basketball on TV–what a sight
she’d be in court, tapping a gavel, writing
a note, and swearing someone in, all at once.
Where can I get one, I ask, but she shakes
her head: it’s nothing you can buy,
it’s free to anyone who wants one,
and who can show them won’t abuse it.
But why doesn’t everyone — I cry –
and then another thought creeps in: I hardly use
the limbs I have, I should examine hers for lice.
With sadness in her mien she nods,
yes, you’d think it would be common,
you’d think it would be prized.
Natasha Saje was born in Germany and grew up in New York City and northern New Jersey. She is the author of two books of poems: “Red Under the Skin” (Pittsburgh, 1994) and “Bend” (Tupelo Press, 2004). She teaches at Westminster College in Salt Lake City and in the Vermont College MFA in Writing program.