Underdog

Location

It only took a matter of minutes

to sniff out my identity.

 

An underdog’s sense of smell

is quite keen, after all.

 

With my nose to the ground,

I follow the scent

that leads me to the feet of 

the silver-haired woman

who has been in the classroom

for too many years

without really teaching.

 

And I whimper, at her feet,

with my head between my legs.

 

Inferior.

 

And she scolds me.

I do not do the tricks

she asks me to do.

I do not obey.

 

I do not fit into a scientific equation

into an academic mold

into a curriculum.

I am taught to solve for X

but instead I wrote a poem

about how X got stuck into this

equation in the first place,

how he ran away from home

and how he misses his mother.

 

With a look of disapproval

in her eyes and a coffee breath sigh,

my teacher straps a muzzle around my mouth

and says, “NO.”

 

And I wimper and whine and cower.

 

Until I realize a muzzle

might silence my voice

but it can not silence my thoughts.

 

So I will think.

And I will hope.

And I will imagine the day when I can unlatch

this muzzle from my mouth and bark and howl

and bear my teeth

and rip off my underdog cape.

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