by Daun Daemon
I was an origami child,
folding myself into shapes:
wedging elbows behind ears,
tucking knees behind elbows,
balancing on butt bones
like a docked-tail crane.
Mama commanded performances
for elderly visitors and relatives
like Aunt Edna, a fleshy woman
who found my folds and pleats
as charming as the layered frills
on her fancy Sunday frock.
“She’s double-jointed!” Mama said,
as if it were an accomplishment
and not a trick of hypermobility
played on overly proud parents
eager for their children to impress
with peculiar God-given talents.
I knew I was but a freak of nature,
not an anointed special child
blessed with these tricky joints
by a benevolent God, a god
I don’t believe in but now thank
as I fold myself on a yoga mat.
Daun Daemon’s stories have appeared in Fiction Fix, The Dead Mule and Delmarva Review, among others. She has published poetry in Dime Show Review, Third Wednesday, Remington Review, Typehouse and other journals. Daemon lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and four cats and teaches at North Carolina State University.