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Ram’s Horn and Citron, Tinder and Carillon

by Leslie McGrath

You’ll find two rabbits, dressed and hung
above the ram’s horn, above the citron.

The table half-draped in damask
in need of ironing. You’ll find east light

too harsh for still life, yet wait and the rabbit slumps
on the hook, wait and the fly arrives.

You make an adjustment. Remove the rabbits;
arrange a pyre of tinder at the base

of the ram’s horn, behind the citron.
You will not light it, the pyre, you will not

enjoy its opulent rage. Listen instead
to the carillon luring the winter sun to sleep

while the ram’s horn and citron
throw a fool’s cap shadow on the wall.


Leslie McGrath’s poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, The Black Warrior Review, Poetry Ireland, and elsewhere. She was the winner of the 2004 Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. Her chapbook, Toward Anguish, won the 2007 Philbrick Poetry Award and was published by The Providence Athenaeum. She is the recipient of a 2007 Artist Fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism. Her interview with poet Dick Allen is forthcoming in The Writers’ Chronicle. (4/2008)

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