Leddy Headbutter

Leddy Headbutter —
named after his colour
and head-butting habit:
I’ve finished cruising. Wake up.
You can pet me, feed me now.

a gray stray who cried
for days before we found him
trapped by a wasp nest
under the back yard driveway
now strides across his yard

marble grey
with bright slit green eyes —
how could he not look
like he just swallowed
Plato’s cave canary?

He found that dry place
when the wasps were asleep —
took refuge from a storm.
Woke up to a paper gray
brain blocking his exit.

What is this humming
thing thinking Mmmmm,
he must have thought.
Face swollen from stings,
he earned his blue caterwaul.

My wife got stung twice
hauling his skinny ass out
of there. Now he sleeps
under the tarp covering
his yard furniture.

So much for
the retinal circus
playing against blue sky.
This ain’t T.V., baby.
There is no remote.

Richard Stevenson

Richard Stevenson teaches at Lethbridge College in southern Alberta. His most recent collection, his first collection of tanka and kyoka, Windfall Apples, has just been published by Athabasca University Press. Other recent collections include Wiser Pills (Frontenac House), Tidings of Magpies (Spotted Cow Press), and The Emerald Hour (Ekstasis Editions), all published in 2008.

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