Throwback Thursdays! We’re bringing back some of our favorite pieces from the last 30 years of Scribendi.
Matthew Frederick Nieder – 1994
She’s got seven stray black cats,
two mutts brought home from the pound,
and a crippled brown rabbit
who, at her feet, limps around
bleating, crying for her hands.
Often, the rabbit will rest
contentedly beside her,
or burrow into her chest:
she can restore anything.
I can barely keep roaches
alive at my place downtown
My studio reproaches
me with water-stained ceilings
and scratched, flecking, dented walls.
She’s got a hundred green plants
that she waters, suns, and calls
by Latin names, baptizing
them each morning as her own.
Plants brown simply from my hopes
that I won’t be left alone.
Below the open window
to the river, my guitar
lies half-unstrung. I tune it,
call her, meet her at the bar.
From her hug and pausing glance,
I think: She already knows.
She sits, wrapped in murmurs, smoke,
and the dim, cross-thatched shadows.
I strum a quiet ballad
for her down at Ol’ Mark Twain’s,
but she still doesn’t
hear how much I envy
that three-footed rabbit’s pains.