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 ...