BOBBI S. RUDIN
First day of my 7th year in special ed.
As I enter the classroom,
I glance to my left and see a large glass terrarium with a heat lamp
glaring down on a reptile who stares up at me with circular eyes,
wide-opened. He reads me as if I am one of the assigned books.
I notice that his head is surrounded by a crown of spikes.
I find out that he is of a royal line of bearded dragons.
One day, the final bell rings. I linger. A boy has come in.
The teacher lets him hold Puff. I want a turn.
This no more than 8-inch lizard is passed to me.
I gently place him like a new born on my left shoulder.
As I softly rub his back, his miniaturized clawed hands
massage me, like purring cat’s paws.
His leathery body nestles in, his eyes narrow sleepily.
Our breath and heartbeats synchronize.
I glance down to observe him and wonder ifall creatures enjoy a warm breast to cuddle into.