WILD CARD



The local newspaper reports
a Houston housewife has found
a three foot long snake indigenous
to California in her electric toaster.

I need to talk to this woman. I want
to know what kind of bread attracts
snakes, if she goes to church on Sundays
and if she believes in chance.

While I have her on the phone, I want
to ask about other irregularities, such as
the Osage orange that showed up
on my front step, a fruit so large

no creature could have carried it.
And what does she make of the wild card
I found in a pile of leaves-a Jack of Spades
masquerading as some variety of oak?

Or the crow who paces the patio,
carrying a packet of taco sauce,
dipping his beak casually, as if
hot sauce were his natural food.

I'd ask about the mouse I found
this morning in the dog's bowl,
frantic, half drowned, the small cap
of his skull bobbing like a tiny buoy.

Still, he swam, betting against all odds
that some housewife might appear
on this Sunday morning, looking for eggs
or waffle mix, and the opportunity to tip

the bowl onto a sunny porch where
a small thing, who has never questioned
the implacable nature of the universe,
could have another chance.


Cathryn Essinger, from My Dog Does Not Read Plato.
Main Street Rag Publishing Company
If you would have a mind at peace, a heart that does not harden,
Go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.
(Anon.)
More Poems
LAUNDRY DAY
LINKS
SHOE BOX
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SCRAPBOOK
POETRY
VIEWS
QUOTES
Spring/At Great Pond
Earth, Your Dancing Place
Angels
In Blackwater Woods
In the Library
Clear as Mud
Mockingbirds
Pinup
Sabbaths 2001
Center
Morning Poem
Aunt Leaf
The Peace of Wild Things
An Observation
The Calf-Path
Sometimes, I Am Startled...
The Visitation
Wings
Praise Song
Putting in a Window
Monet Refuses the Operation
A Blessing
Making a Living
The Poetry Bus
Homemaking
Old Woman in a Housecoat
Soundings
My Father's Lunch
Lightening the Load
Wild Card
Thoughts in a Garden
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WELCOME!
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Appeal to the Grammarians
Bread Soup
Explaining Relativity to a Cat
In Praise of Craziness
Martha
Pastoral
Thus Spake the Mockingbird
Trust
Undelivered Mail
Winter Is the Best Time
Surprises
Reading History
Radiator
Song of the Open Road
I Chop Some Parsley
Cowboy Poetry
DIURNAL
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walking
To the Man in a Loden Coat
Fermanagh Cave
Highway Five Love Poem
School Day Afternoon
Late for Summer Weather
Quilts
So Much Happiness
Employed
Te Deum
The Testing-Tree
Vacuuming Spiders
Six Significant Landscapes
Reconsidering the Seven
They'll
Miscellaneous Poetry