Challenger - Return Home   A Science Fiction Fanzine   Spring/Summer 2003

POEMS
by MICHAEL ESTABROOK


one of the times I scared
the living hell out of my brother Kerry

The summer of 1966 both my brother and I worked
at the Cranberry Veterinary Hospital, and we loved it.
Doc Johnson didn’t have children so maybe that’s why
he was so nice to us, encouraging our schooling, giving
us responsibilities and praise. We felt important even
when giving a dog a tic bath or cleaning-out the runs.
That’s what I was doing one quiet afternoon,
cleaning out the runs, while Kerry was wheeling
the food cart in and out of the wards dishing out Alpo
and biscuits. I decided it was too quiet, and his insipid
singing and humming was driving me nuts. So I
crouched alongside the door of Ward 3, and as my
dopey brother came in, humming some stupid
Supremes tune, I leapt out clawing and scratching
at his legs, barking like a demented Doberman pinscher.
The poor guy screamed and jumped into the air,
sending the foodcart toppling into a clutter of bowls
and cans and paper towels. All the animals in their
cages were extremely confused, and when the Doc
came to see what all the commotion was about I was
out back whistling peacefully, and feeding the ducks.

 

 

 Egret

Tall gray bird, an egret I think
standing in the shore of a small pond
poised, quiet, intent, focused,
his head and long beak
suddenly snapping into the water.
He stabbing at one of the numerous
plump brown tadpoles beginning to kick
their frog legs, but he misses,
comes up dry, guess I’m not the only one.

 

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