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Published: Sat Oct 15 2011
Wosene Worke Kosrof, The Inventor V (detail), 2022, acrylic on linen. Courtesy of Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
Hamster Thrown from Monster Truck

This is the headline from The Onion
we love best.

_                                              _ What does this say
_             _ about us?

At least our schadenfreude’s minimalist?

Neither of us ever had a hamster
for a pet.

_                   _ Or even knew one as a friend’s
_                   _ pet

_                               _or the teacher’s pet: a hamster for the masses
_                               _of a third grade class, for instance;

nor do we know anything of gerbils.

_                               _Not on their own account,
_                                             _ neither their relationship to hamsters.

But monster trucks—
these we’ve seen.

_                                             _ Monsters of all models, guzzlers

_                               _on the byways of our humble town,

rumbling above us at the stoplight
like a frisky two-story building,

_                                             _ charging forward at the change
_                               _on super-sized tires,

swinging, sometimes, from the bumper
a pair of balls.

The hamster’s monster truck has thrown him
for a loop.

_                               _We think it probably shook him up.

He took the last lap of the treadmill track too fast!

_             _ Fans in the bleachers standing
on their seats,

_                               _the sun a beer-haze through their shades.

We hope the hamster’s landed
on his feet.

See what's inside AGNI 74

Kathleen Winter’s second book, I will not kick my friends, won the 2017 Elixir Poetry Prize. Her debut collection, Nostalgia for the Criminal Past, won the 2013 Texas Institute of Letters first book award. She was the fall 2015 Dobie Paisano Fellow, selected by the University of Texas at Austin and Texas Institute of Letters. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, The New Republic, The Yale Review, AGNIPrairie Schooner, and Gulf Coast. She lives in Sonoma County, California. (updated 4/2017)

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