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:: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 ::

:: Alison Pelegrin 4/20/2004 12:37:00 PM [+] ::

As per your instructions . . .

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Jackalope

At a tag sale, rising from a hammock sea
with a dartboard star behind it,
the jackalope sticks its arms out: Mama.

Jackalopes in the wild, you never spot them.
They’re still, like anthills,
and move only when the tumbleweed shivers.

This one’s taller than all my books,
so I stand it on the curio shelf
next to the Blue Bird of Happiness.
Almost. It almost looks right.

Any taxidermist can tell you
how to make a dead thing
look alive. It’s all about
choosing the right horns for the job.

The strangest thing.—
Rather than lucky sevens at the slot machine
I see jackalope, jackalope, jackalope.

Windchimes bellow in the side yard.
The motion lights click on, but spot nothing.

There’s the tale of the wolverine’s disguise—
antlers fashioned from branches.
It crept to the watering hole
without spooking a single antelope.

In another story, the carnivore’s horns
are made of wax, and they melt
when it huddles too close to the fire.

Jackalope is hungry.
My sons offer it grilled cheese and cat food.

The startled-looking shoulder mount,
the coonskin cap and tail-feather jewelry . . . .
Something in the hardware store
reminds me of home.

Postcard from Wyoming:
St. Francis of Assisi bushwhacking through the forest
on the back of a godzilla jackalope.

Jackalope wears dust like an outlaw’s vest.
Spiders frame bizarre webs on his antlers.
Still, he needs something—
either fangs or a boutonniere.

Those pine trees you see
buffing the moon with paintbrush shadows—
look again.

:: Alison Pelegrin 4/20/2004 12:32:00 PM [+] ::

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