POETRY

The Rhinoceros

By

The rhino is a gentle sort
who's locked his heart inside a fort
(or, since it moves, more like a yurt),
afraid he'll get his feelings hurt.

Yet deep within that horny hide
he courts an extroverted side,
and -- though myopic -- hopes to find
a love whose love is almost blind.

Armored, amorous, wide of hip,
as gray as any battleship,
desire bursting at the seams,
he roams the veldt, alone, and dreams

he'll bump into his dreams distilled, a
heavy date, his own Brunhilda.

Ed Shacklee is a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia. His poems have appeared in Angle, The Flea, Light, Per Contra and Shot Glass Journal, among other places. He is working on a bestiary.

The rhino is a gentle sort
who's locked his heart inside a fort
(or, since it moves, more like a yurt),
afraid he'll get his feelings hurt.