Sticks and stones may break my bones
but certain words will kill me
words that name the stones lining up
in my bones lucky stones lucky stones lucky
bones til their luck ran
Lucky stones lucky socks lucky pennies lucky
rabbit’s foot on a little chain not so lucky
for the rabbit we’d say, the charm
that gave the luck to us.
It wasn’t words that killed those rabbits
but what did? What factory slaughtered
rabbits and for what reason and where and who
decided to dye the feet bright pink or green
Sure, one family I knew raised rabbits
for slaughter. Sure, we hunted rabbits to
skin and fry up and eat
but neither of those produced the hundreds
of thousands of feet in boxes on shelves
in Dime stores and Drug stores or in ads on the back
pages of comic books.
Sticks and stones didn’t break their bones.
Where were they when their luck ran out?