poor Thumbelina! Because croaky-croak-croak was all she heard. Because a home in the mud.
Because he who said croaky-croak-croak would be her wedded one. Because toads
don’t care what humans want, but a little fish might, a little fish with fishy minions nibbling
her lily-pad seat till the leaf breaks free. Bye, bye, croaky-croak-croak! But poor Thumbelina:
the floating was fleeting, as were relief and glee, because a beetle three times her size grabbed her
by her thin waist, stuck her in a tree. Oh, pity pretty Thumbelina not-so-pretty on account
of no antennae, on account of two legs. For to be human is to be ugly, for to be thoraxed
is to be beautiful, for to be carapaced is preferred, to be scintillatingly six-legged. Ugly like an earwig
to a human, most ugly of all, so the beetle swoops her up, drops her onto a lone white daisy, where she pulls
her knees to her chest, relishes her utterly repugnant.
-- Martha Silano’s fifth full-length poetry collection, Gravity Assist, appeared from Saturnalia Books in 2019. Previous collections include Reckless Lovely and The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, also from Saturnalia Books. Martha’s poems have been featured in Poetry, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, and the Best American Poetry series, among others. Honors include the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize and the Cincinnati Review’s Robert and Adele Schiff Award. She teaches at Bellevue College, Seattle’s Hugo House, and as a Poet in the Schools in Skagit County, Washington.