- Follow my voice.
- Says the space between it and my ear
- is a years-long tunnel to crawl
- on my belly through. So I do.
- So I am a worm, a snake, finely made
- and inlaid with precious mud.
- I am a dog that knows where
- the food comes from.
- Simon says
- follow the leader. A ladder appears
- and I climb it. A lake appears
- and I dive inside it and sink. I drink
- my way out and flop on the shore,
- a fat fish. Simon says pick up your fins
- and start walking so I do. I split
- my tail in two.
- Simon says now run
- and I do. Says now I have a gun and stop
- or I’ll shoot. But Simon didn’t say,
- so I don’t stop running. There are rules
- and I know them. There are games
- and we animals know how they are played.
- If we make it to the woods we are safe.
- Each day we run a little farther away.
CLAIRE WAHMANHOLM has most recently published work in The Collapsar, Newfound, New Poetry from the Midwest 2016, Bateau, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Memorious, Kenyon Review Online, Handsome, Third Coast, Best New Poets 2015, Elsewhere, BOAAT, The Journal, Winter Tangerine, and DIAGRAM. She lives in the Twin Cities.