You already know somebody
like that old man making his way
down the country lane—tousled
white hair, slow strides, hunched
over with years that never let go.
Whether you think of it or not,
you still carry him along with you,
the plain, white-framed house
on the side of the hill, the morning
you watched him lift the rabbit trap,
heard the wild thing’s scream
like a tea kettle’s screech, when he
grabbed it. With one quick stab
of his pocketknife at the back
of the neck he silenced the moment.
Neither of you said a thing as he laid
the rabbit down like a seed sack
on the wet grass and wiped
the pearl-handled blade clean.
The chickens in the yard started
strutting around again. One
paused, tilted her head, darkened
a flickering eye as she glanced
across the yard at both of us.
After a long career of as an English professor, Ron Stottlemyer has returned to writing poetry. His work has appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Alabama Literary Review, Streetlight Magazine, West Texas Literary Review, Twyckenham Notes, Rust and Moth, and others. One of his poems, “Falling” (Twyckenham Notes, Summer 2018), won a Pushcart Prize.