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Animal Planters
by
Nancy Scott


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It was freezing today at the flea market,
not much for sale, not a cent on me.
With a checkbook, it’s never too cold to haggle.
I bought an elephant, right foot nudging a blue ball,
ears flared, trunk curled upward in triumph.

When it comes to animal planters, I’ve no willpower.
My shelves are lined: three kittens in shoe,
grinning bear on log, cocker spaniel under mailbox.
Not to mention koala hugging tree,
buck-toothed rabbit or kangaroo,
ponies, swans, dogs, donkeys, ducks,
two deer, fawn and doe intertwined,
green stallion flying, red fox and a maroon goose
with a polka-dot kerchief.

Last week as I lingered at his table, a seller asks,
Aren’t you the lady who bought a wood duck?
Oh, you remembered, I answer to save time
from haggling over two planter/bookends,
magnificent rams’ heads, though
I couldn’t say which of my wood ducks he meant.

I’ve found them from Montreal to San Francisco,
in Boston’s antique shoppes, dusty barns in Ohio.
I still grieve for the overpriced cockatoo in Canton,
slightly chipped panther left behind.
Thousands wait to be saved from the dumpster.
It’s only a matter of shelf space and stamina.
I can’t stop. I’ve become the SPCA for animal planters.

 

This poem first appeared in U.S.1 Worksheets, 2004.
Used here with the author's permission.

 

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Nancy Scott is the author of seven books of poetry and managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets' Cooperative in New Jersey. Her most recent book, Running Down Broken Cement (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2014), was inspired by her career as a caseworker for the State of New Jersey for several decades. The poems bear witness to the lives of those children and adults whose voices are seldom heard. Nancy is also an artist ; she regularly exhibits her collages in juried shows and her work has appeared on various book covers and in literary journals. Learn more about her at www.nancyscott.net.  

 


New comments are closed for now.
Larry Schug:
geez-sounds like my house! A well done poem.
Posted 11/24/2014 12:39 PM
loisflmom:
Dolphins and mermaids and too little space!
Posted 11/24/2014 11:15 AM
KarlaLinn:
Nancy! Hope you are well. It was wonderful to dwell in a poem of your again and experience vicariously the collector's passion conveyed in such detail and color. Write on! And happy Thanksgiving, Karla
Posted 11/24/2014 08:56 AM
Cindy:
so funny and I relate
Posted 11/24/2014 08:50 AM
penhart:
Love this one, Nancy. Great details---for my mother, it was little pitchers found at garage sales:). Thrift shops are my Aladdin's Cave.
Posted 11/24/2014 06:04 AM
penelopeschott:
oops, sorry to post twice -- I hadn't realized the first one worked. p.
Posted 11/23/2014 11:15 PM
penelopeschott:
Nancy, this is so funny -- but also, in its own way, tragic. Save 'em all! Best, Penelope
Posted 11/23/2014 11:14 PM
penelopeschott:
Nancy, this is so funny -- but tragic too! Save 'em all. Best, Penelope
Posted 11/23/2014 11:13 PM


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