Today's poem is by David Welch


I do not wish, the boy said, to be honest with you.
And the audience followed him as he walked
into the garden. What is honest with us,
said the audience, and the boy did not respond.
Instead, he bent down and lightly touched what pale
furs remained of the rabbit. That was the end of it.
The audience waited by the flowerbeds for the boy
to approach his subject. Had I been a rabbit,
the boy said, I'd have imagined myself
as something that could do wonderful harm.
What is wonderful, said the audience.
Wonderful is the body of a radish,
the boy said, laying open and untouched
by the green blades of grass. When a rabbit comes to it,
the rabbit knows its day is made. Don't be ridiculous,
said the audience. We can plainly see
the rabbit is dead. That's what it's come to,
the boy said. There are ghosts and there are rabbits.
Had I imagined a ghost, I'd have imagined
the body of the rabbit's last radish, its white underbelly
and sun-pickled skin, the way it took against
the rabbit's front teeth as he carried it. What is a ghost,
Sflid the audience. This, the boy said. Like a crown
he carefully touched the loose furs to his lips.

Copyright © 2015 David Welch All rights reserved
from Conduit
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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