Victoria Dym

Shaving the Yak

Not Tibetan or North American, not Asian Buffalo or Bison—This has nothing to do with
Yaks. Even though these bovines grunt instead of moo, munch on grass, flowers, moss,
tubers and lichens, their Alpine buffet—This has nothing to do with Yaks. Never mind
that the Dams, like humans, have nine-month pregnancies, and that the White and Golden
yearlings can fetch Yak farmers upwards of $20,000 each— This has nothing to do with
Yaks or Yak farmers. And because, Yak farmers would never shave their shaggy haired
Yaks— instead, Yak farmers use an undercoat rake, a specialized brush that pulls the
super soft down fiber, the hair closest to the Yak’s body, the stuff that keeps them warm
in the cold Himalayan winters, the stuff that knitters love—this rake pulls down the down
fiber, away from the two coarse outer layers of hair—Still, this has nothing to do with the
Himalayas, or knitters, Yak farmers, or Yaks.

And certainly—this has nothing to do with the Ren & Stimpy catchy cartoon tune—

                             On Yak Yak Shaving Day—Yak Yak Shaving Day
                             —you won’t believe your eyes, a hairy scum surprise

                             Oom Bah Oom Ba Digga Digga Doom Ba
                             Oom Bah Oom Ba Digga Digga Doom Ba

Shaving the Yak is this— coming home from work, you flick the dining room light
switch on to a burned-out bulb – you go to the pantry for the bulbs, but as you reach for
them, the shelf almost capsizes its contents— the joist has come loose, unscrewed – so,
you go to the bottom kitchen drawer for the long-handled screwdriver, and notice a
squeaky noise when pulling the drawer open — (you close, pull open, and close the
drawer, just to make sure)—so, you head now to the garage for the WD-40® — while
shaking the can in preparation to spray, you realize, it’s empty. You grab your keys and
wallet to go to Home Depot, hop in the car—how can this be, the click, click, clicking of a dead battery.

Victoria Dym is a graduate of Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Clown College with a degree in Humility, a Bachelor of Arts, in Philosophy, from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters in Fine Arts, Creative Writing-Poetry from Carlow University. Her two poetry chapbooks, Class Clown and When the Walls Cave In, were published by Finishing Line Press in 2015 and 2018. Victoria is currently submitting her full-length poetry manuscript, The Hatchet Sun, and two new chapbooks, Shaving the Yak and There Are No Dogs on Mars, and Other Sermons from the Dog Chapel, for publication. She lives in Tampa Florida, where she teaches poetry, storytelling, and facilitates Laughter Yoga workshops for Cano Health Wellness Centers. Victoria is a co-founder and co-facilitator for The Metanoia Retreat for Writers, Well-Being, and Right Whales, slated for Earth Day 2022. 

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