Tender Trapper

There were things
we were hungry for. We had to survive.
Storks and turkeys with blue wattle,
   two-by-fours, spoonbills,
   peonies, we needed these
   hoisted up high
so that bears wouldn’t savage
the supplies, and rend the parrots mute.
We had a ship
   with four sails
   but it was far too small
   for the two of us.
There was no sea. There was no escape.
  
There were branches. We were in a tree.
   The tree grew every fruit
   and someone had been pruning
it into a shape
but we were inside the shape
and so couldn’t know.
  
We inhabited.
There were things in the background that struck us
as humorous.
  
   The idea of traveling
to where the blue haze began
and the ill-defined leaves looked like wallpaper—
we might still be in our house in Florida.
  
You tied to you ropes around your middle
   and from those ropes
all the bounty swung, fruit and seeds enough to live on.
There was something beatific
in your face, the canopy parting
   to let the bright sky nimbus
   and anoint you.
There was something cruel
in the way you made me ask
   for another peach, another plum,
and tallied the absence in our inventory.
Tender Trapper
Rebecca Hazelton
Hazelton_cover

Tender Trapper

Rebecca Hazelton

Floating Wolf Quarterly Cover_wolf