Today's poem is by Arielle Greenberg

The Mouse-Trap

Life just doesn't happen this way:
behind every curtain is King Skull.
Or you have a date with a poison lot.
It's unpredictable. Doubles on the red die.

Death doesn't just happen this way:
the stranger on the garden path, no.
I was once roses. My every joint a thorn.
There is no secret to the bursting of the petals—
they just burst. It's justice.
You wake up one day and there is frost in your ear.
Someone has told you that most final thing.
What did the morning know, the dust?
What did my own flesh know
as it crept along the bones?

I knew nothing except this:
for every monarch a mouse-trap
and every fool a daughter who counts up
the metal parts and all the heads.

I can see it all so clearly from this tomorrow vantage:
I was beaten through,
and now I have eyes in the back of my head.

Copyright © 2003 Arielle Greenberg All rights reserved
from Fa(r)ther Down: Songs From The Allergy Trials
New Michigan Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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