I remember the spring when the rabbit with no ears showed up.
Little pink stubs.
Were they bleeding?
Had they been ripped or chewed off?
This rabbit hopped about and enjoyed eating grass no differently.
At first it was unsettling, then amusing, then normal.
Then company would come and say look at that rabbit!
And it would again seem odd, unsettling, but eventually normal.
The ears were not there but not bleeding.
It gave the helmet effect.
And we ran.
We ran from this rabbit.
Although it was only me.
Always only me on the porch.
Running through the ages from this casual rabbit.
Who enjoyed the grass no differently.
Giant Hotel Fern
It’s said that when it’s time for coffee
and a roll, head straight for the fern
and make a hard left.
When it’s a morning paper you’re after
go toward the fern, bear right, stay
close to the fern, rounding it—
look for Exit 232.
This is a giant fern and people
are streaming early into the glorious lobby,
some of them barefoot,
in white robes searching
for coffee, for rolls, for newsprint.
It’s said that this fern is at the center of Rome.
Maybe twelve feet wide and with a breeze inside.
It’s said that Rome is the greatest city for walking
but when I check it’s in eleventh place.
It’s said that if a white, plain-looking, thick
book called What Is Poetry? falls
with a thump
onto a table before you,
don’t open it.
Who Was Mrs Butterworth
Known to British
a sometimes glass,
poured. A matron
no doubt (and yet
who kept butter
pats beneath her
apron. Known to
her more hometown
peeps as both Joy
and Jodeen J.
was this beloved
who scooted a-
long our river-
banks looking for
waffles. When glass,
a gleam rose. And
when as plastic
she talked her way
into our log
homes, we sat back
and we squeezed her.
28 April 2016
When you were dying
people talked about you
in the past tense which
I found annoying.
Now that you have died
people refer to you in
the present tense which
I also am struggling with.
These poems are taken from Michael Earl Craig’s collection Woods and Clouds Interchangeable, published by Wave Books.
Photograph © Dominic Alves