She-Monster Gets Fired

By Kim Farrar

Here you are again, running from the villagers
with their torches and pitchforks. You thought
you finally fit in. You filed down
your neck-bolts, got rid of your high-waters.
You watched Oprah, kept a dream diary,
a gratitude journal, pictures of your thinner self
on the fridge. You tried to keep your need
for electricity minimized: licking the outlets,
rubbing your hair with a balloon for just a crackle.

You knew it would happen. Every morning—
the affirmations, the meditation, the positive thinking.

You longed for lightning and rain.
You did everything right to escape
the old ways of staring into the well.
It took years of practicing the right laugh.
You did your best. Married up.
Got a job teaching ESL. Now and then,
a grunt would slip and
crickets crickets crickets.

People liked you. You were funny.

But one day you found refuge
eating flies in the faculty lounge;
soon you stopped hiding
your green undertones with foundation.
You missed being the girl
who loved her square head,
touched her thick-stitched scars like Braille.

The villagers yell, Kill her! Kill the monster!

You’re barreling through the woods,
nettle whips your ankles as you soar
over logs in your clodhoppers.
You’re filled with the old familiar joy
of being free and incredible.

Originally appeared in NOR 20.

Kim Farrar is the author of two chapbooks published by Finishing Line Press: The Familiar and The Brief Clear. She has published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Salamander, and Flash Fiction Magazine. Her essays have been published in Illness & Grace, Voices of Autism, and Reflections. Her poetry manuscript, Calamities of the Natural World, was a semi-finalist in the 2021 Grayson Books Poetry Contest. She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee.  

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