The Big Sleep by Christopher Woods. For more information, visit http://christopherwoods.zenfolio.com

The Big Sleep by Christopher Woods. For more information, visit http://christopherwoods.zenfolio.com

Saturday Mornings

     by Ray McManus

To break the rabbit, hold
it by its back legs and whip it
forward. My neighbor has
names for his. He tells me
it’s a myth that rabbits scream,
but I don’t believe him,
and he yawns as he tosses
a wet clump of fur on the table.

Before we moved out here,
this was a prairie for the woods,
a tract for copper tubes and tin
so the wild stayed wild before
it was swallowed by cages
and cotton fields, and I
was apt to believe anything.

It’s 10:00 a.m. and all the good
shows are over. Rabbits dangle
and drip on the sandy barn floor.
My neighbor tells me that
rabbits can get as big as dogs
and sometimes they eat people

McManus photo

About Ray MacManus

Ray McManus is the author of three books of poetry: Driving through the country before you are born (USC Press 2007), Left Behind (Steeping Stones Press 2008), and Red Dirt Jesus (Marick Press 2011). His fourth book Punch. is forthcoming in late 2014. Ray is the creative writing director for the Tri-District Arts Consortium in South Carolina, and he is an Assistant Professor of English in the Division of Arts and Letters at University of South Carolina Sumter where he teaches creative writing, Irish literature, and Southern literature.

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6 Responses to “Poem”

  1. John Guzlowski

    Ray, liked the poem. I lived for years with people who hunted rabbits and everything else that moved. By the way, I noticed the prairie appearing in the poem. Where were you living when you wrote the poem? I spent most of my life in Illinois. Know a prairie when it knocks on the door.

    Reply
    • raymcmanus971

      Thank you, John… a year and half later. I didn’t see your comment. I was in South Carolina at the time, and longing for a prairie escape. You can get lost here in the south, there is no doubt. But only through burial. Out west, that open sky. I dreamed it ever since I was a boy. And like most dreams, I got found the plains, and the dream was over.

      Reply
    • raymcmanus971

      Thank you, John… a year and half later. I didn’t see your comment. I was in South Carolina at the time, and longing for a prairie escape. You can get lost here in the south, there is no doubt. But only through burial. Out west, that open sky. I dreamed it ever since I was a boy. And like most dreams, I got found the plains, and the dream was over.

      Reply
  2. michael

    Your poem, Saturday Mornings, captured two disconnected worlds that touch. Beautiful. Thank you.

    Reply
    • raymcmanus971

      Thank you, Michael… only a year and half later. My apologies. Seriously. Thank you.

      Reply

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