Bio Note: I found James Tate's poetry in 1970 after my discharge from the Air Force at age 22. The Iowa poets helped me find my voice & my way back into society. I have one book and numerous poems published in many small presses. I am a retired addictions therapist & before I got sober I was a stone mason & a landscaper.
He looked like Dr. John the Night Tripper. He was speaking to a man who wasn’t listening, who just kept reading the newspaper & drinking his coffee. The doppelganger liked hearing himself talk. Hung over, I was listening. The coffee had chicory in it. I liked it. A store bought rabbit’s foot ain’t no real juju on a key chain. Tourists don’t know shit. Rabbits & the dead are neighbors, you know & witches can turn themselves into rabbits. Any fool knows if you kills a rabbit in a graveyard at night & you chops the rabbit’s left foot off & you keeps it in your pocket you gets good luck. & when a rabbit is kilt on a full moon on a Friday the 13th by a cross-eyed man a hoodoo rabbit’s foot gets you real good luck when good luck is impossible to come by. I hadn’t done the math until then— one rabbit’s foot equaled one dead rabbit. I’ve never owned one. That’s some rabbit’s good luck. Then again, I thought, there’s no shortage of rabbits & I hoped they ate the meat & used the pelts. I read in an inflight magazine that hasenpfeffer cooked slowly in burgundy wine is very tasty. It didn’t occur to me until I sobered up how unaware I was, how lucky.
Visiting Dad & Mom in the Cemetery
with my Sister in a Dream
Our parents are happy to see my sister. Thanks for the pretty flowers, Mom said. How’s it going? Dad asked. Can’t complain, my sister replied, Things are good at work. How are things in heaven? Mom answered, Send more prayers; you can never have too many prayers. Save your knees, Dad chuckled. That’s funny, Dad, I said. I hope you & Mom are each happy being different people now, in different bodies, in different families, in different parts of the world. Happy Trails, until we meet again. My sister started laughing, I think they would rather hang out with Jesus & the angels. I laughed too, Yeah, who wouldn’t?
I Am Not Avoiding You
I wrote this in a letter that I didn’t mail to you, “These June apples on the ground in the yard look like green golf balls.” & before I knew it, I had dropped my pen, pulled my putter & sunk a bushel of birdie putts. I don’t know what gets into me. Did I tell you about the plum tree? The fruit the size of meat balls.
©2021 Mike Casetta
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