Poetry by Len Krisak

SHE CALLED HER ASS A HORSE

I knew a woman lovely in her bones
As well. Sulky, she’d call her ass a horse
To get my goat, in loving, peevish tones.
Her burro was a donkey, though (of course),
And stubborn when it heard its proper name
(Recalcitrant within its equine class—
Genus, I mean—when called, it never came).
She never would have called her horse an ass,
But she was right. She did Linnaeus proud
(Whose real name was—in Swedish—Carl Linné).
Well, here’s a thought I’ve never spoke aloud:
Toxic taxonomy was just her way
Of showing me which one of us was boss.
I hope at least that clearly comes across.

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About Len Krisak

Len Krisak has had his work published in Agni, The Antioch Review, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, PN Review, Raritan, The London Magazine, Agenda, Plume, The Hopkins Review, Stand Magazine, Commonweal, The Oxonian Review, Literary Imagination, and The Oxford Book of Poems on Classical Mythology, among others. He’s the author of 10 published books and has won the Richard Wilbur Prize, the Robert Frost Prize, and the Robert Penn Warren prize, among others. He’s also a four-time champion on Jeopardy.