the village: one
when the old man kills a rabbit
first he strokes it
touches its head and soothes it
always a fresh clean chopping block
always a clean dry place
where the sun can reach its open eyes
when the head comes off.
he did a small dance,
carrying, stroking, shaking
the small corpse
as its life and blood pour out.
then cold streaming water
and the small, sharp knife
and crow's meat
to be raised on a pole platform
in the yard
to Mother's janitorial crews.
All around the village the poles are raised, stinking.
It is the spring.
2009 Peter Greene.