Retired Woman War / maelynn seymour-major

My mother hates lizards.

Wait. Let me correct:

She hates albino lizards.

The big thick ones with the pearlescent skin.

Those ones she hates.

There is no broom big enough,

No Baygon toxic enough to kill them.

She goes old school on them,

She uses a shoe.

Not a slipper but a big black clog.

They are her garden shoes,

Her weapon of choice for the lizards.

The lizards are smart.

They know her voice.

Probably because she talks to them.

“I comin’ to get yall!” and

“I just wanta kill ya hip!” and

“I don’t know why yall just don’t go away!”

When she kills one there is a celebration.

When she kills two she looks like Stalin,

Sweeps their bodies in a pile for the rest to see.

She obsesses about them coming in the house.

She worries that they will jump on her when she waters her plants.

The lizards have evil intentions, she is convinced.

The lizards are stealthy, conspiratorial.

They plan ways to evade her watch, sneak into the house,

Plant themselves in her sheets, terrorise her.

This is a serious war.

No lizard is safe.  The word is out.


is a lecturer at The College of The Bahamas, in the School of English Studies.  She obtained her BA in English Literature and MA in Poetic Practice from Royal Holloway, The University of London.  She puts her poems up on Confessions of a Logophile. Her earlier work was also published in tongues of the ocean.


  1. Please Please PLEEEEEZ…. just leave us alone!Truly we mean no harm, we do not bite we rid you of cockroaches, mosquitos and other pesky and potentially dangerous insects, reducing your need for such toxic substances like Bagon. We wage war on arachnids like mites that otherwise would infest your beds, rugs, carpets drapes and upholstery. Just think of those over industrious spiders, busy spinning webs, giving you real reason to weild that broom, they are our favourite morsal. Let us be partners not enemies! We don’t mean to tickle you when in fright we suddenly run across your shoulder and down your arm. Look at how we change n’t that rather unique? Please let us live, pretty please…how many other free roaming harmless animals do you have in your vacinity? Come coexistence is a win win situation for both of us.

  2. Totally agree with you Madeline. I have yet to convince my mother!

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