★ ★ ★ ★


North Side

In Chicago, in the year’s first snow
The tracks of a rabbit run across
The sidewalk.  Automobile exhaust
Hangs in the air like a bridal veil
On a consignment shop mannequin.
White mist embraces the tenements,
The grime-darkened brick of factories,
The fogged, lit windows of restaurants—
The wind is just the air shivering.
Later, by January, most of
The rabbits will have frozen to death,
Their rigid brown corpses discarded
By the curbs and alleys, garage doors,
And brittle hedges.  In the dim spring,
The survivors, coats molting thin, will
Furiously mate by the same curbs
And alleys, beneath the same hedges,
Driven by their own fragility.
After the snow has melted part way
And frozen again, I watch as one
Leaps down a path by a chain-link fence,
Ears alert, claws scratching at the ice.

George Franklin practices law on Miami Beach and teaches poetry workshops in Florida state prisons.  He received his MFA from Columbia University and his PhD from Brandeis University.  His poems have been published in The Threepenny Review, The Quarterly, Verse, Salamander, Matter, Scalawag, Sheila-Na-Gig, Gulf Stream, The Ghazal Page, Rumble Fish Quarterly, and Vending Machine Press and translated into Spanish and presented in a dual-language format in Alastor and Nagari.  A poem is forthcoming in B O D Y, and Rumble Fish has nominated his poem published in its July issue for a 2017 Pushcart Prize.

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