Little Rachel Dreams
of Regeneration

In third grade,
I read Pets in a Jar
cover to cover,
renewed it for weeks
or maybe months,
until the librarian
reminded me other
kids might like it too.
For the rest of childhood
into my teens,
I sought planarians
in wet ditches
and culvert weeds,
scooped jars of murky water
from neighborhood ponds
crouched in cattail reeds.
I never found one,
would never know
if I had courage enough
to slit its funny face
between the eyes
and split its tail
into a fork to watch
it heal into a living
double-headed X,
or better yet, or worse,
a tiny headless man
with two legs, two arms,
two faces for hands,
four tiny, forgiving
eyes, now twice as wise
thanks to me.

2021

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