Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rats and Mallards

When the roadway was dug up
for new drainage
and lifted from the bog,
it was summer, rainless,
the rats came from the heat
to our side of the parking lot,
climbing through the
poxy shrubs, where the summer
lawn ran brown into the
brown flower beds, and
I lay in a stupor and
watched them, acrobatic
in their berry-picking, and wondered
where rats live before
all the heavy front loaders
roar, before the by standing trees
heave easily out of the gravel,
before the pond gets
that ugly dust face.

I left before I heard an answer,
sobered up, stopped smoking—
last I saw the devil
he was teaching
the unhappy mallards to sing.

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