Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Fluffy"

This is the second freebie for the September 5, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl, thanks to new donor [personal profile] mashfanficchick. It's spillover from the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It belongs to the series Love Is For Children.

Warning: This poem is mostly what it says on the tin, but there are a few things that might bother sensitive readers. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Hulk finds a litter of orphaned kittens. Warning for the aftermath of canon-typical violence, briefly indicated animal death, and Hulk's ugly past. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.


"Fluffy"


Fight is good and fun, but it
knocks down many buildings.

Hulk likes smashing things,
but not dust, and not puny Bruce
grumbling in back of head
about so much smash.

Tinman complains about
smash too, but Hulk was
only doing what Star Man said.

Stupid robots all smash now,
so Hulk job done. Someone else
can clean up great big mess.

Suits. Sunglasses.

Hulk still feels wary, but
is learning that men who
belong to Agent are safe
and do not need smashing.

Helpfully he points toward
the broken power line.
Sparks are bad.

Agent Smith gives Hulk
the "okay" sign and puts
a yellow plastic thing
over the bad sparks.

Then Hulk hears something.

Tiny little sound
comes from down here,
alley full of smash and shadows.

Hulk follows his ears.
Sound doesn't get much bigger.

Chunks of building. Dumpster.
Nasty puddles on ground.

Hulk picks his way around
puddles and hunkers down
to reach under dumpster.

Fluffy. Warm. Squirmy.

Hulk pulls out his hand.

Yellow fluff goes, Mew! Mew!
It sounds very scared.

Hulk puts yellow fluff in lap.
Then he reaches back
underneath dumpster.

White fluff. Black fluff.
Gray fluff. Stripy brown fluff.
Three colors fluff.

Underneath empty now,
and Hulk lap full of fluff.

Team is coming,
Hulk can hear them:

"It's not like him to run off
anymore, Tony, I'm just worried."

"Hulk didn't run off, Steve.
JARVIS says he's been
right here for ten minutes."

"Fluffy!" says Hulk, waving
for them to come see.

"Holy shit, Hulk has kittens!"

"Language, Tony. Aww,
they're so cute," says Star Man.
"Any idea where the mama cat is?"

Hulk sighs and points to tail
poking out from under smash.
He is trying very hard not to think
of mommy cat or Hulk mommy either.

Maybe Hulk should talk with
Doc Samson later though.

"Well, that's really sad,"
Star Man says, sitting down.

Hulk hands him some fluff.
Little fluff very good for
no more sad.

"Hey, Nat, come look
at this!" calls Birdie. "Hulk
found kittens. Wow, their eyes
aren't even open yet."

"Altricial," Hulk says,
carefully sounding out
Bruce word. "One week."

Team pets fluff, so gentle.
Tinman takes pictures.

"Bruce get picture?"
Hulk says. Even though
Bruce gave him fancy word
for eyes not open yet, Hulk
doesn't know how much
Bruce will remember later.

"Sure thing, Jolly Green,"
says Tinman. "Say cheese!"

Hulk says, "Cheese!" and
Tinman takes picture of
Hulk holding little fluffs.

"Pepper's going to love this,"
says Tinman. "So will PR."

"Can we keep them?" Birdie says,
cuddling three colors fluff.

"Not right now," Agent says,
stepping up with basket
full of white shirts.

"Aw, why not?" says Birdie.
"The kittens are so cute!"

"At this age, they need
constant care," Agent says.
"JARVIS has found someone
used to raising orphaned kittens.
We can discuss permanent options
later. For now, in the basket."

Everyone puts little fluffs in basket.

Hulk is sad to see them go,
but happy Voice found someone
to take good care of them.

"Don't worry, Hulk,"
says Tinman. "Pepper
can do her spin trick and
find fantastic homes for
all of the kittens."

"Uh huh," says Hulk.

They walk out of alley
behind Agent, who
carries basket of fluff.

"Trade you," says Agent Smith.
He has stuffed toys that
look just like little fluffs.

"Dibs on the calico,"
says Birdie, reaching for it.

"I would like the black kitten,
please," says Red.

Star Man takes white fluff.
Tinman takes yellow fluff.

Hulk hangs back because
even stuffed ones are
small and fragile.

"This is the closest we
could get on short notice,"
says Agent Jones, coming up
with great big stuffed one.
"I hope you like tigers."

"Fluffy!" Hulk roars,
all happy now.

* * *

Notes:

Altricial refers to animals born while partially developed, such as kittens with their eyes and ears closed. Read about kitten development.

Kittens can make people happier, healthier, and gentler. Here is an example of kitten therapy.

Stuffed kittens can be quite realistic. So can stuffed tigers.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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