An intelligent design?
While I guess the notion’s fine
there is something I find sadly out of whack.
What deity would settle
for an itch as sharp as nettle
in the middle, very middle of my back?
As I grapple past my shoulder
I suspect I’m growing older
for my stretching nails seem to have lost the knack
of reaching to the itching,
helpless fingers clutching, twitching
for the middle, very middle, of my back.
A contortionist I’m not
as I bend to reach the spot,
inching upward from my waist. But still I lack
arms long enough for scratching,
stretched too far, almost detaching
as they’re grasping for the middle of my back.
Anthropologists are fools
when they look for man’s first tools
made of stone to cut or grind or slice or hack.
My hunch is man’s first tool was stick,
with a bark both rough and thick,
that could reach the very middle of the back.
Phyllis Sterling Smith September 14 and 21, 2007