Register Saturday | July 13 | 2024

Flushing the Groundhog

New poetry by Derek Webster.

He’s a mini-market manager with a big man’s 

coat and a habit of neglecting his bills. 

Collectors have been hired to send

him up the Yangtze, tin-can his errant 

nightly thievery. Acts vigilant. He’s green, 

all squint. Thinks his castle’s secure

with three dull, hefted shovels 

cocked not ten feet away. Nod. A rock 

in the bush misdirects him—Exit, 

pursued by a bear. His furious 

galumph’s a small perk of the job.

Strung up out back, his begging 

symmetrical paws are instructive.

He looks like he split town in a froth 

then had a thunderbolt—some business 

he forgot, so important

it makes him close his eyes.

The death takes its time.

His arrogant coat ripped off, he’s

like everybody: mortgage unpaid,

lawn growing longer, a rabbit

with stunted legs. No parting

note for the wife—just a red stain on the doorstep ...

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