If I Were a Genuine Genie
by Jeannie E. Roberts

If I were a genuine genie, not just by name, but
a supernatural spirit, like The Genie in Aladdin,

true-blue and incredibly funny, or like Jeannie
of I Dream of Jeannie, ponytailed and delightfully

sunny, I’d set the world agog, laughing and
blinking, nodding and thinking of how I could

aright the human race. Sure-footed and sensibly
dressed (favoring the coverage and durability

of bib overalls), I’d obey my inner master, honor
her voice. As a powerful creature, I’d respect

my fierce and fiery roots, remembering that
I was created from the “fire of scorching wind.”

In my lamp of luxury, I’d dispense my magical
gifts freely and equally, wielding my wizardry

with widespread benevolence and rollicking
repartee. However, for the record: if any willful

and wily wise guy tried to annoy me, I’d hardily
harass his earthly ass.

PHOTOS: Barbara Eden (letf) as Jeannie in TV show I Dream of Jeannie (1965-1970). The author (right) posing as the genuine genie, Eau Claire, Wisconsin (August 22, 2016) — photo by Bruce.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This writing prompt unleashed a number of imaginative ideas, including the magical implications of my first name (a homophone of genie). No matter how fanciful and satirical this piece may seem, it offers hope of a brighter, more enlightened world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeannie E. Roberts writes, draws and paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings. Her fourth book, Romp and Ceremony, a full-length poetry collection, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She is the author of Beyond Bulrush, a full-length poetry collection (Lit Fest Press, 2015), Nature of it All, a poetry chapbook (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and the author and illustrator of Let’s Make Faces!, a children’s book (2009). An award-winning poet, her poems appear in online magazines, print journals, and anthologies. She holds a bachelor of science degree in secondary education and a master of arts degree in arts and cultural management. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jeannie lives in Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley area.  Learn more about her at