Two Poems: “The Corolla’s Bad Alternator” and “Catalpa Regret”

I went driving with my daughter
In my truck to see the man
Who drives a wrecker,
To see if he’d fix my car.

On the shiney black of Bank Street’s asphalt
We passed a medium mammal casualty
Laying still as still, midroad dead,
Recognized gone but not for sure discerned.

My daughter hurried out “a rabbit”
As her life is so much in front of her and
I in my graying lucidness lamented,
“Oh my, that was a cat. “

Pride was nipping at her,
Curiosity was nibbling at me,
And in retracing our trek we slowed to look,
…A flattened calico with a eye bulged from a socket.

Neither felt to gloat right or wrong,
As we were unified in horror, aversion,
And the seared image in our collective memory,
A daddy daughter moment, all the same.


In the cold of a late spring
I cut you and your brothers
As you feigned a silent death.

Nobody faulted me,
my son joined me at one point
In a bladed rite of passage.

When you all started to wake,
Showing signs of life,
I was ridiculed in my remorse.

Hacked, slashed, and delimbed
Your souls bled resilient
In a cauterizing green.

Leaves in the shape of hearts,
Maybe a sign of life,
Maybe a quiet forgiveness,
Maybe just a moving on.

Besides soccer, slow 5Ks, and teaching, Rex Muston has also always loved writing poetry. He has spent the last 20+ years teaching language arts at Keokuk High School. Go Chiefs!