Mystique Exposed – Phyllis Hemann

When I slam on the brakes,
I plunge headlong into
a proverbial brick wall,
nothing is the same.

My figure sprawls on the ground
stunned, unable to access
my abilities.

I submit my body
to rigorous testing
to locate my Achilles’ heel.

All these tests
and treatments
do not empower me,
improve function.

I am weak, curled
in the fetal position

identical to Wonder Woman
when I left her behind,
speeding toward legacy.

I was strong
then. I needed not
her or anybody,

only my own agency
to conquer the planet
with fortitude belonging
merely to me.

Now I’m outside
and she’s perched
in the driver’s seat
of my weathered SUV.

I can only hope
she lassos me
and pulls me out
of this ditch.

Phyllis Hemann grew up reading and telling stories. As a child, she scribbled poems with crayons. Now she writes her own for children and adults. She holds a M.F.A. from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in newspapers, journals and anthologies. She is the author of THE INVISIBLE HEROINE (Finishing Line Press). She lives in Arkansas with her family and their goofy dog. Find her online @phyllishemann and

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