Once he finishes his almond,
the mayor will christen a pond.
Think of all he has done, say
the papers. He used his elbow
to mend the polka, loaned
his knee to the middle school,
kept a public dairy in his
bedroom during the famine.
We admire him for the sacrifice
but want his face to stop getting
pocked from poison dinners.
He is a bachelor. He is the face
of Okemos, a tender thing like
movie Elvis, so many days
of grace. A tender thing like Elvis
giving buffalo robes to shaking
legislators, promising choice
lots to undecided voters. Near
Lake Monona six foals are born
without ears. An ear cracks like
a potato chip in this frost,
there’s nothing you can do.
In January the mayor buys a rack
of white frocks. Then comes a calf.
Frightened by the young couple
assigned to her, she breaks into
the cornfield. They cannot rope
her, she’s too quick. Fingers
are useless they think, maybe
remove them? Store them in coin
rolls? Make hands into hooves?
The mayor sends a Henry Fonda
lookalike with two location scouts.
Decisions take their toll. Peggy
Noonan says the mayor may quit,
he’s so tired. That’s why she knit
him a vest and incubated for him
a girl. When folks die in Okemos,
their final eight breaths become
radio. A glow in a heifer, a mayor.
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