|“Top of the Ticket” cartoon by David Horsey / Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2016.|
Imagine a rabbit, running, late.
Imagine a rabbit no earlier
on the ground than under.
Alice locked out of the garden
too big, too small, never right
as much on the ground as under,
uncertain of direction,
advised only to take the road
that gets her where she wants to go,
as if she knew, either on the ground or under.
Even at tea, her place changes,
is changed, exchanged, until
she’s displaced, no rhyme nor reason
either on the ground or under.
At the queen’s command an unruly hand
of insubstantial and un-gamely subjects.
At risk anyone, everyone’s head,
no less on these grounds than under.
What time is this, what times are these,
rude, rough, incomprehensible
how a rabbit’s world surfaced,
and calm picnic grounds went under.
Alice, you just dreamed you fell and didn’t
know when, how, or where you’d stop.
Now that dream is playing out
on our ground,
Margaret Rozga is a poet, essayist, and author of a play, March On Milwaukee: A Memoir of the Open Housing Protests. Her new manuscript of poems focuses on Jessie Benton Frémont (1824-1902), who actively campaigned in 1856 for her husband John Charles Frémont, the first Republican candidate for president on an anti-slavery platform.