Lucky Foot We were mid-sentence and taking shortcuts
to her folks' place when she slammed on the brakes.
I was thinking my luck's finally in,
till her headlights fixed on a small movement:
a rabbit in the road, and oh the trace
of irony that leapt across her smile
when it flat-out refused the chance to dance
to the tune of her horn, or turn and shake
that cottontail in the full beam then dive
into the dark hedge. I was dispatched
to report in or shoo the thing along.
It lay there, a wet hand towel,
in the last throes of throwing in
its lot with the dusty tarmac. She made
me twist the bloody thing's neck – called that
much kinder than running it over.
It did one last Watusi in time
with the blinking emergency lights.
We left the scene behind,
let nature take its course.
I kept shaking for hours.
Mat Riches has had work published in Wild Court, The High Window and Finished Creatures. He co-runs Rogue Strands poetry evenings and has a pamphlet out with Red Squirrel Press in 2023. His blog is here, and you can find him on Twitter here: @matriches.