Prop Rockery

We were thinking of starting a band,
all lined up like ducks in a shooting gallery.

This one would be gem, that one
metamorphic, the rest pebbles and some

laboratory-grown, semi-precious stones. The trees
were in it for the long-run; they swayed or stood

stoic, sheltered what they could. We made the cast
as an idle grouping: we played the trump, the idiot,

the glue. We backdropped with hearts hardly
beating, our eyes set straight in our heads: the bombed-

out school kids, the oilfields scrubbed in turns. We chewed
the fat amongst ourselves. You said, this place

should be more festive: a lightning bolt, a snail, a fraud. I set
a crumb aside for the local roof rat; you tallied the droppings,

the amputees, the gold. I blew my top when you lost
'Dominion.' You said, what can be done? It's gone,

it's gone. Wind started in through the rift-way, buzzed
over our slate-blue bones. All the leaves have aged

with kindness, all our pretend
looped and windowed raggedness went largely

unseen. We were on stage the whole performance, held
our breath for the final moments with cheeks rent

and red. No neck was slit on our backs; no distraught
lover jumped from our cliff's edge. There was a stirring backstage

we could sense it: a temptress, some anger, some
sin. Weeds came thick around us. The act

had been bungled sorely. We withheld our opinions, sat in wait.
We were good for a throwing.

by Emily Rosko

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