Ron Stottlemyer

Caught

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.

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