“2640 Vulliet Road, an Early Spring Day, or Hope Springs Eternal”
My left side is dry & scaly
like a dead lizard’s belly. My right
side is not talking to the left, just to the feet
and hands. It’s a mess. Winter does a job
on my body. Parts of it retreat. I find them
in the spring under the rotting leaves & limbs
all over the back yard. Last year we found a dead
possum under the good intentions.
Our neighbor is 86. She has a clothes line
to hang her laundry when the weather is nice.
The kids had never seen one and stared at her as she sang
songs about Jesus and strung her underwear and pride
out to dry.
The red cooper hawk sits in the pine tree at 7 AM
waiting for our cat to walk into the sun. She feels
its presence and retreats, the hair on her tail bristled
The sky is a similar shade of blue that you see
in travel shows from Greece, the clouds posing
as islands, enticing travelers to rethink
their upcoming vacation. Surely you saved up
enough gumption to book a flight to Paradise?
Hope is abundant, well-placed within reach.
We burn off the dead remains of last year’s garden,
blackened sunflower heads pointing to the charred ground
like shower heads. The neighbor’s pig has escaped
and heads our way for rotten tomatoes and whatever else
she can find. It is too early in the season to fulfill
such requests. Come back, Piggy, when there’s more
on the menu than expectations.
“More Notes on Wolves”
after Margaret Atwood
When a wolf watches you through your kitchen window
while you wash dishes, she’s not thinking about the best
way to cook your flesh. She’s more sophisticated than that.
She’s waiting for you to make some kind of mistake,
like emptying the trash before the moon comes up.
My wolf has licorice breath and paints her nails indigo
because she’s hip & articulate. She understands more
about us than we do. She doesn’t need to know how to
draw Punnett Squares and count progeny. Genetics
is under her skin.
Boy wolves never think they’ll end up in a zoo.
They prance boldly through ferrous streets while bar flies
have just one more beer for the road. They crouch behind
serrated hedges and lick their chops for appetizers.
Wolf nightmares involve speeding BWMs along icy streets,
curvy roads, mesmerized chickens in rusted cages, and
misdirected souls who have lost the desire to drink coffee.
Wolves always have the last word.
John Dorroh has never had to use a defibrillator, nor has he fallen into an active volcano. He did manage to bake bread with Austrian monks & consume a healthy portion of their beer. Two of his poems were nominated for Best of the Net. Others have appeared in journals such as Feral, Burningword, Tilde, and Selcouth Station. His first chapbook was released in March. Twitter: @DorrohJohn