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Two Poems by Jonny Rodgers

Rabbit

 

Unwanted. Tying. Plan-gnawing.

He arrives with a hutch like an Anderson shelter

and multiple instructions.

There is a goodbye 

and an unspoken promise 

of a suitable duty-free Scotch.

My stretched fingers find him nervous in a corner.

As he should be.

 

His piss gradually fills the conservatory, 

the smell of it, 

though I find I can soon divine 

the separate tangs of fur and pellets and piss.

 

Summer beats on and I open the windows 

before heading out. In the shop queue 

I suddenly picture him 

lying inexplicably dead

and crack an egg getting home. 

He is sat in his hutch as if nothing had happened.

 

Stretching, no, 

skipping now, 

bimbling about the tiles

with bits on the end of his whiskers,

finally accepting the nuzzle of a curled index finger.

 

After he goes, 

things come off pause;

I drink my reward 

in the sun-soaked garden,

think of inadequate phrases 

like ‘scrap of life’

and when I’ll sweep up the straw.

 

 

Girl and Scarecrow

 

Do you remember the golden days? 

Me swinging a bucket of blackberries 

across the field, a slender breeze 

and your cheek turning to meet my cheek. 

 

You were quiet, yes,

but God you could listen, 

listen to all my circle-talk:

the brambling words of a farm-girl fool;

you were there to hear my thoughts 

unspool.

 

You were a wreck, yes,

but so was I: 

torn blue dress, juiced-up eyes,

and when the bad times came and went,

I had the cling of your threadbare chest. 

 

At our backs 

we felt the town pulse on, 

persuading itself of itself;

we watched the sky gather up its clouds, 

saw midnight twisted inside out.

 

Then you were gone,

left no remains –

no ebony feathers, no trace.

Just a hole in the ground 

smoothed fresh with turf,

wide as a mouth 

plugged up with dirt. 

 

 

Jonny Rodgers is a writer of poetry and short fiction from the Northwest of England. His publications include: EnvoiThe CadaverineProleSculpted: Poetry of the NorthwestBest of Manchester Poets volumes 2 and 3, and Cake.

 

 

Image credit: Peder Skou

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