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  • Alice Wyatt

A Lizard in My Garden




There is a lizard in my garden,

small, fast, with pale stripes,

bright blue tail trailing behind.



The internet spits out -


New Mexico Whiptail

6.5 - 9.1 inches

Family: Teiidae

Genus: Aspidoscelis

Kingdom: Animalia

Species: Aspidoscelis neomexicana


King Philip Came Over For Great Spaghetti, a rhyme learned in high school biology to help memorization, is scrambled, which is annoying. Why does life never match up with what we learn in school?




I learn New Mexico Whiptails reproduce asexually. (did you know over 70 vertebrate species reproduce this way? No way!!!) They are all female and parthenogenetic. This means their eggs develop into embryos without fertilization.


A poem about being female,

not needing the attention - semen - DNA

of no man - in order to

procreate,

is a poem needing to be written

on another day,

perhaps by another person, but as


I read words like meiosis and heterozygosity and propagate,

phrases like a hybridization event and genetic-diversity,

I store information, feel smart, educated,

full of facts about this beautiful land I live in.


-----------------------------------------------------


There is a lizard in my garden,

small, fast, with pale stripes,

bright blue tail trailing behind.


I crouch down in the morning sunshine,

soft soil warm beneath bare toes,

lean in for a closer look.


My mind says, New Mexico….. something and

all female and then there is nothing, so my heart

takes over and says,


“Hello you beautiful thing. Welcome. Thank you

for visiting me. Please eat all my bugs and I

will try to keep my cats from eating you.”




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