“If You Give a Government Trapper a Roadkill Armadillo” by Robert A. Ayres

Robert A. Ayres


If you give a government trapper
a roadkill armadillo,
he’s likely to take it home.

And if he takes it home,
and his wife’s not there,
he’ll take it in the kitchen,
stick it in her spaghetti pot—
tail sticking out the top—
fill the pot with water,
turn the burner on,
and cook it till it’s squishy.

And if he cooks it till it’s squishy,
and his wife’s not back,
he’ll scoop the innards from the shell
into her Osterizer blender,
add a little glycerin,
and push “Puree.”

And if she’s still not back,
he’ll spoon dollops of pâté
into tiny Tupperware containers,
and stash them in her deep freeze
until he needs it for bait.

But if his wife comes home,
that’s that.

from Rattle #30, Winter 2008
Tribute to Cowboy & Western Poets


Robert A. Ayres: “On the ranch, I hear lots of great stories. If I’m quick enough, I sometimes snatch a poem right out of the air, the way a second baseman nabs a line drive—that nifty SMACK! against his mitt. Other days, I take the bits and pieces home in my pocket to see what I can make of them.”

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