Chameleon 1440 1920 Lucy Whitehead

Today I am a pot plant
yesterday a tapestry
of vine leaves   tomorrow
I’ll turn emerald green
against the lawn   laughing
when they laugh   desperately
trying to decipher the rules
of their conversation   slipping
in appropriate portions of wit
never stretching my neck out
long enough for them to take a bite
never risking all to feel the cold
silent death of being held
by disapproving eyes   never
risking that again.
And only when they’re gone and
coffee cups clinked away
into clean cupboards   will I
unfurl my petals
stretch my furry limbs
and breathe a sigh of relief   clamber
out from behind the curtains
I’ve been bulging behind
nervous as a small child   frozen
in a moment of shame
and chat comfortably
with myself.

Header photograph © Lesley-Anne Evans.

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