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  You could have a big dipper   

SELF-PORTRAIT AS DUDLEY DO-RIGHT (1999) by Anissa Lynne Johnson

This is a poem, so when I tell you

to envision Dudley Do-Right, what I mean is

there I am. Can you see me? Smiling dopily,

riding backwards on my trusty steed Horse?

Okay, good. Now remember, this is a poem, so

Horse is not a horse—he’s chronic illness,

and I/Dudley can’t see where I’m going, when

all this will end. On the days Horse trots along, I can

almost make out the conifer forests, evergreen against

snow-capped setbacks. But most days, he's galloping

pain, blurring my vision. Hope of recovery. Quick!

Look or you’ll miss me! There I am again

as Snidley Whiplash, tying a girl to the train tracks

with frayed rope. Oh please, look closer, don’t you see

I am also the girl. Hear the whistle blowing louder

and louder, hear how I’m always running out of time.


Anissa Lynne Johnson is a disabled writer and speaker from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Her work has appeared/is forthcoming in The Daily Drunk, Press Pause, Wig-Wag, and elsewhere. More often than not, Anissa can be found walking in the woods or watching the sort of movies that *sigh* never win awards. Say hello on Twitter @anissaljohnson.

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