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"To write about a jilted platypus, by virtue of uniqueness,almost guarantees a better poem."
          — Editor's remark

These critters from Tasmania
hypertrophy our crania.
But why should we upright mammals schmooze
with fauna designed by Dr. Seuss?

Part the First: PlatOdysseus Testosteronerous
Sir Platypus has gone to war
because he was devoted
to country and his whore.
The former taxed — she doted.

His poison barbs were filed
to pierce the armor plate
of mighty crocodiles
if he could ambulate.

But he proved better at swimming,
became a Navy Seal,
and chest with medals brimming,
secured his country's weal,

But left the whore he madly
loved for a movie stint —
like Audie Murphy, sadly
he proved no Jack or Clint.

So to his platypie
he sweetly did retreat,
who gave him the evil eye —
she didn't trust his feet

Where nature had inserted
paired hooks for platypassion.
"I can't!" in tears she blurted,
"Make love to an assassin."

So back to war he went,
in the ranks of death you'll find him,
his fearful hook as sharp as flint,
his wild tail slung behind him.

Onward, duck-billed platypus,
wad'ling as to war,
with thy fearful visage
going on before.

Attack the evil poets!
With web and hook besmite
those oddly fashioned mammals
who think your passion slight.

And filled with platypassion
for God and king and war,
you forgot to take the trash in,
but still, to your Mrs. swore

"Platypie mine —" (what a 'supial bard!)
"Though all the world betray thee,
One faithful bill will sing thy praise,
One faithful web defend thee."

Part the Second: Peneloplatypuss the Faithful Ovipositor
That startling quote
about platytropes
making for deep emotion —
it makes me wonder

Does she suffer in her little pond,
or is it in the ocean?
She all too easily grows fond
(and holding webbed hands
spurs platydevotion) —
she's indiscrete for his duckbill sweet,
his strong webbed hands in motion!

Alas, the male platypus
like human males will flatter us
then leave, and later brag success
with all the other guy
platypii —

though she is hardly defenseless
her wiles are known down under
to pull a heart asunder
as Ornithorhynchus anatinus,
the platyplayboy's chosen Venus,
web-footed goddess of the shore,
Aphrodite on-the-half-shell-platterpus,
the reptile's evolutionary ladderpus!
(Whom all the platyguys adore,
because they're guys, because they must!)

She struts along the beach
beyond their webbed claws' reach
wearing but a tiny teeny
string bikini.

Consider the plight of the platypuss
left pregnant by her guy
She lays her eggs without a fuss
and her baby platypii
must suffer from their daddy's loss
while she just waits and sighs.

Where is he with his wide, webbed feet
his dear duckbill and damp brown hair?
Where is the tail so broad and sweet
his dark brown eyes so fair?

She waited for his duckbilled touch;
for his webbed caress she cried.
She was his faithful ladypus
until the day she died

Oh, beware the jilted platypus
deserted by its mate!
Her loud, duckbilled domestic fuss
will keep you up quite late.

Have you seen her twist her small webbed fist
when her platyman makes her wait?
A platy scorned, though small and furry —
compared to hers, hell hath no fury.

Yet envy the placid platypus,
raising her family without no fuss
She's an unusual designer critter
who doesn't need a babysitter;
and raising children's very breezy,
as she turns them — over easy.

      — Sharon Kourous, C.E. Chaffin, Kathleen Carbone

Hear Sharon Kourous, C.E. Chaffin, Kathleen Carbone read 'The Platypodyssey'