“A Lizards Tail” by Matthew Hetznecker

Buddy cried out from the patio.
I get up from the couch and open the screen door,
he darts in, there it is, again,
a lizard.
This the second Saturday in a row
that Buddy has brought me a lizard.
The lizard plays dead
then a moment later scurry’s away.
I find its tail later near the garden hose.

I praise Buddy for his catch and gift.
In a way I’m touched by his gift.
He’s become the predator I would hope he’d be,
fast, but tender, as in sport.
He sits on my lap and I pet him and wonder what my kid
would be like.

Would he have hair like mine, and have ears that
stuck out like mine?
Would he love insects and love to run?
Would he have my acne?
Who would he have sex with first?
Would a girl suck him off outside somewhere?
Or would his best friend rub up against him, or jerk
him off?
Would he dream dreams that were big and bigger
and never get smaller?

Would I disappoint him?
Would I do something that I wouldn’t remember,
that would make his life smaller?

Maybe I’ll meet him and tell him
that I missed him.
That I missed
tucking him into bed, missed,
lifting him on
my shoulders and carrying him home.

Matthew Hetznecker

All Rights Reserved

© 2010


  1. lkthayer · January 27, 2010

    Matthew, I love your stark simplicity, it has a profound effect, always. LK

  2. anniew3000 · January 27, 2010

    The question is always there, the one about the road not taken. That’s the thing about the examined life, those pesky questions. One thing I know for sure, Matthew. If you’d had a son, you would not have disappointed him. Not by a long shot.
    Alexis Rhone Fancher

  3. Julie · January 27, 2010

    Oh what a wonderful piece, Matthew. How does it feel to get squeezed???


  4. Roz Levine · January 28, 2010

    What a moving piece, Matthew. I know you would have been a great father. I’m sure you’re a great and good friend to all those close to you in your life. You’re definitely a one helluva a good writer.

  5. Adesh Kaur · February 4, 2010

    O Matthew…. this is a beautiful, poignant piece. I love your work (and YOU).

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