Yes, I’m a prairie dog and I live underground
because the world is often too much for me
with all those dangerous animals running around
looking to eat you if you’re off guard for a second.
Yet overall, it’s a pretty good life because there’s always
lots of sports on television, and we have a bathroom
in which one’s business is blocked off by an electric powered wall
that my father installed years ago when he was still working
as a lookout for several families nearby.
And most days I sleep in late and tell the teacher
that I’ll make up what I missed on the weekend
when it’s usually much quieter up above:
only the sounds of crickets, snails, and non-poisonous spiders
trying to get into our water supply that’s mixed with gin,
but not to the level in which one becomes a gin rummy. . .

Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric musicfor dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction,and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies,more recently in Hymnopomp, The Stray Branch, After The Pause, Third Wednesday,Brushfire, Corvus, and Smoky Blue. You can email him at

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