Today's poem is by Ron Padgett


It's hard to understand what
a rabbit is

It lifts a paw
and hesitates

For a moment its nose
and mouth are all cat

and those eyes, so worried
so harmless

but it might scratch you

and that camel back
and tiger crouch

ears of lemur
perked up


The rabbit runs around
eating and doing arithmetic

There is the story of the grateful king
who offered his subject anything

he wanted, and the subject said
Take this chess board and put

a coin on the first square
then double that amount for the second

and so on, to which the king
readily consented

and when they counted
it turned out to be

a billion trillion coins
(or something like that)

more than the richest king
could afford

Imagine if the man had asked
for rabbits

Well that's what Nature asked for.
In Australia I think

there's an area that has
ten rabbits per square yard

Ah, we must shoot them
cry certain Australians

and others say No
ship them to a place

that has no rabbits
But there's a reason

there are no rabbits there
like at the North pole

or in the Gobi Desert
or on Park Avenue

Anyway I do not trust a rabbit
because I have no idea

what it is thinking
I trust a worm because it isn't thinking

If rabbits could say
"I will hop into this garden

and eat the lettuce"
I would like them more

Copyright © 2009 Ron Padgett All rights reserved
from Court Green
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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