Would that I could become my own totem,
a fantastical blend of all traits I admire
in one creature, new to the earth.
I would have the stoicism and steadfast strength
of the bear, shuffling through my days safe
in the certainty that none would challenge me.
The sleek speed in water of the otter
would also be mine, perpetually laughing
in delight at life itself, babes nestled close on my belly.
A golden retriever’s gentleness and loyalty
would belong to me, smiling with liquid brown eyes
in sweet puzzlement, devoted to my people.
Instead, what is left to me is to embody
all of these creatures and more, to be
the person I am meant to be, and love.