Okemos


Once he finishes his almond,

the mayor will christen a pond.

Think of all he has done, say

the papers. He used his elbow

to mend the polka, loaned

his knee to the middle school,

kept a public dairy in his

bedroom during the famine.

We admire him for the sacrifice

but want his face to stop getting

pocked from poison dinners.

He is a bachelor. He is the face

of Okemos, a tender thing like

movie Elvis, so many days

of grace. A tender thing like Elvis

giving buffalo robes to shaking

legislators, promising choice

lots to undecided voters. Near

Lake Monona six foals are born

without ears. An ear cracks like

a potato chip in this frost,

there’s nothing you can do.

In January the mayor buys a rack

of white frocks. Then comes a calf.

Frightened by the young couple

assigned to her, she breaks into

the cornfield. They cannot rope

her, she’s too quick. Fingers

are useless they think, maybe

remove them? Store them in coin

rolls? Make hands into hooves?

The mayor sends a Henry Fonda

lookalike with two location scouts.

Decisions take their toll. Peggy

Noonan says the mayor may quit,

he’s so tired. That’s why she knit

him a vest and incubated for him

a girl. When folks die in Okemos,

their final eight breaths become

radio. A glow in a heifer, a mayor.

Copyright © 1999-2017 Juked