What Shall We Call You?

By Lisa Huffaker

Mirror baby in whom we glimpse our own strangeness!
Prophet baby whose eyes pour out prophecy! Vision baby
whose mute tongue writhes with visions!
Devourer baby whose toothless gums gnaw the nipple!
Fat Buddha baby whose belly is the Buddha! Void baby
whose fists grip tight handfuls of emptiness! Galaxy baby
whose clenched fingers enclose the stars! Wordless fish baby
who swam dumb and slippery out of the womb!
Slimy frog baby covered in blood! Naked petal baby
unfolding pink and strong! Earthworm baby
heaved out of the ground rosy and squirming! Scrawny
bird baby gaping for food! Wrinkled grandfather
baby whose face unfolds eons! Alien earth baby
just off the mother ship! Wailing siren baby sounding alarm,
squalling joyous calamity! Roaring lion baby who sings the end
and beginning of time! Fontanel baby whose skull
is a bruised peach! Walnut baby cracked out
from the broken womb like a crumpled bit of meat!
Origami baby creased like a paper lotus!
Transparent vellum baby with fingernails like flakes of paper!
Chaos baby, vortex spinning around a limpid eye!
Hurricane baby swirling out of the ocean with a name!


Since winning Southwest Review’s Morton Marr Poetry Prize in 2008, Lisa Huffaker’s poems have been published in Southwest Review, Poet Lore, Measure, Southern Poetry Review, Mezzo Cammin, The Texas Observer, Able Muse, and Southern Humanities Review, which recently nominated her for the Pushcart Prize.  She has been a featured poet at readings sponsored by Southwest Review, Wordspace, Pegasus Reading Series, Pandora’s Box, Dallas Poets Community, and Malvern Books, and is a member of the multimedia poetry performance troupe, Dancing Tongue.  Lisa’s primary background is classical singing; she holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory, and has sung with The Dallas Opera since 1999.  She teaches creative writing at Yavneh Academy of Dallas.