Always Assessing Size

By on Sep 3, 2017 in Poetry

Silhouettes of human with different animals

Between the size of a hummingbird’s skull
and a whale, we take pride
in being able to walk upright
while thumbing a keypad
and telling our friends what we’re seeing,
thinking, planning, preparing to do.
A hummingbird will not hesitate to attack
a human being if it thinks it’s a threat.
What a whale thinks as it sinks
through the planet’s wet skin,
no one knows. But, whatever it is,
it makes them sing.


Until he was twenty-four, David Thornbrugh thought Emperor Penguins averaged six foot tall, thus enabling these royal birds to look human intruders in the eye. The resulting shame and embarrassment he felt at the mockery of his peers drove him into the arms of poetry, where he has felt only mildly aggrieved ever since. He thinks of himself as following in the tradition of Archie the Cockroach, whose best work resulted from throwing himself at the keys of a resistant machine, one bruise at a time.

One Comment

  1. Good one! I enjoyed thinking about the world from the animals’ point of view. Also the assonance of “pride” followed by “upright”. And the “s”‘s in sink, skin, sing. Nice rhythm to it, imaginative, enjoyable.