A plump lizard basks on my San Diego patio in the quiet summer sun. “Hello,” I whisper. Her smile sly, eyes button-beads, skin resembling grandma’s purse. Prolific in our childhood garden my brother Sandy saved them in shoeboxes, fed them flies. Sometimes he’d pick one up, snigger as its tail fell off, wiggled about. He’d chase me with the terrible Tyrannosaurus Rexes in his outstretched hands. Terrified I’d cry, run away until the day I grit my teeth, stood my ground, patted its crusty head. After that Sandy stopped pestering me. At least not with reptiles. He often kissed them until one bit him on the lower lip and like mom would say he screamed bloody murder. I think he still has a scar. I feared those dears had become extinct long ago. It’s interesting what a coronavirus can do to shift the balance back.
Published in San Diego Poetry Annual 2021 – 2022
I love it Jill! Wonderful word pictures.I have lizard stories from our garden also.😊 They are quite prehistoric feeling. Love the reminiscence with your brother. I can relate!
Susie – I’m so glad you can relate!
Your poem coincides with the small and darting creatures here at Dorland, yesterday one carrying what looked like a caterpillar in his mouth, his prey more than a mouthful. He skittered off when he saw me. Guess I’m too big for that small mouth.
Thanks, Jill. Lovely poem to start the day.
Dian – I’m glad he didn’t eat you.
Thanks for the memories. I have always loved lizards. Maybe being raised in the desert had influenced my lizard friendships. They eat bad bugs. Then at NAU our professor called his stat students lizards under a rock. Remember? I then found art with a lizard photo to balance the comment with the strength of nature. We even started collecting lizard jewelry.
Pat, Such wonderful memories!
That Sandy! Love this:)
Yes! That Sandy.
Sweet, and sentimental.
Phil, Thanks for reading and for your comments.
Nice work Jill. I, too, love what the pandemic did for nature. Big brothers are like that, huh?
Our yards and patio are frequently visited by lizards. On a morning walk months ago I spotted an egret that had strayed from Webb Park Lake in Rancho Bernardo. She or he quickly downed a lizard that moved a little too slowly that morning.
I loved “skin resembling Grandma’s purse.” And that the girl finally showed her big brother she wasn’t afraid and he stopped teasing her. Strong girl! Strong poem.
Awwe Jill this poem is beautiful!! Doesn’t it remind us of how vulnerable we truly are. We must always love and appreciate all things. Your poems are so enlightening and encouraging….keep on writing. Really enjoy such meaningful kind words….You are a love! *-))
Ah–Your picture looks like an alligator lizard. They do have a nasty bite, but they are great critters. Today in my garden I have baby lizards and bunnies and adolescent hooded orioles, finches, swallows, and my app (Merlin) that recognizes birds by their calls tells me of many more. Spotted a small snake recently under the jacaranda that is doing its purple rain (reign?) Love the poem.
^Love lizards! *-) And love your awesome poems beautiful Jill. Look forward always to your words of wisdome…..