Two Poems by Carol Potter

Found in Willow Springs 93

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Glass Eggs, or They Like to Eat Same as You

Some farmers put glass eggs in their nesting boxes.
Snakes slide in, swallow those eggs. Die
when the glass inside them breaks.
You can understand it from the hen’s point of view,
from the farmer’s point of view. I was the farmer, the daughter of,
and my job was collecting the eggs, washing them, sorting them.
I never found a snake in a nesting box. Sometimes long black
polished ropes of them lay out in front of the hen-house.
Sunning themselves. Other places they put ping pong balls
in the hens’ nests. Same principle. Swallow, then choke.
I’d never hear of that before today, but it’s something
Michael Ondaatje witnessed as a child. That
and the family shooting the snakes when they came into the house.
Cobra on a desk. In a chair. In the corner of the kitchen.
Someone might be loading a gun. Sometimes the action freezes.
Sometimes I wish for a glass egg I could make what’s eating me eat.
How useful when the thing you can’t stand takes the form of a fat snake.
When it’s there on the desk whisking its head back and forth when it sees you.
Glad you’ve arrived. Glad you’re pulling back your chair.

Good God Damn

The man under the broken pick-up, snow-plow attached,
was not visible but we could hear him fuck, fuck, oh
shit! trying to fix whatever it was by the side of the road—
thirty-eight degrees, light rain falling, snow on its way his
friend handing the wrong tool though no one of the two
had what they needed. He was down on his back in the wet
fuck of fall at the side of the road and the fuck of it all
traveling down the street to the pup at nine months who
just wanted to sit there and listen as he could not see
the man but he could feel what fuck this shit meant and
oh good god damned motherfucker and seemed to get
what that tremor in the voice meant as well as the clunk of
metal on metal one more thing to learn about us humans I
suppose pup looking at me knowing something about my
current undercurrents but not so much that he thought it
necessary to get the fuck up, c’mon, not your business, me
tugging at the least the man under the truck out of luck
deep inside the machine of it all the rust my little dog just
now suspecting maybe there was something not quite right
in the world he’d found himself leashed to my hands like small
supplicants smile on my lip little clip at the end of the least
treats in my pockets bits of old hot dog random kibble.

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