What Does My Future Hold? ~ Scott Withiam

A yard


overrun with rabbits lazily hopping in the dusk –

as it always has been – here and there stopping to chew.


Holes everywhere. One would be wise

to stop there, when it comes to searching for an answer to the future,


but I am not one


to stop. Hop.


Hop. It’s easier to have a past, to look back. Earlier today,

walking along the road I regularly walk, I happened upon a rabbit tail.

Whatever being in pursuit of the rabbit got just the tail, came up empty, spit it out.

Or consumed everything but the tail end. There’s a future that makes me jumpy. 


Here I am


around the yard.

And there are my kids perched at the window nibbling,

watching me. The back light of their TV

and the shifting images make me think

of them standing in a lightning storm.


Lightning, a row of little Frankensteins,

ghostly figures needing to be charged. That image goes to bed with me.


I don’t remember my dreams,

but I sometimes drive to the thrift store

for no other reason than to look at the remains of lives attempted and given up or gone –


just to fill them in again.

This afternoon I was confronted there. A beautiful woman –

why is she always a beautiful woman? –

whose flowered dress I had already begun to eat, said, “I know what’s on your mind.” 


Another sales person acting as if she knows exactly what I need, I thought,

but I’ll be damned. “You must be some kind of clairvoyant,” I quipped, 

and as a matter of fact, she was, but she’d quit her overbooked future-telling practice

and taken back her life. She said that – “taken back my life” – with such ferocity,


after which she tried to spit out a hair, had been working it, as people do,

to the front of the lips without locating it. What had she been eating?

In her previous life, as she called it, she became only what would happen

for or to someone else.

“So what about your TV?” I asked. I meant to say future.


“I ran out and bought a new house,” she said.

“I drove here, to the thrift store, to furnish it, knowing I’ll find nothing I like,

which is exactly what I want, because I plan on leaving the house empty,

so that no one can move in.”


“Will you ever go there?” I asked.

“When will you,” is all that she kept saying, “when will you


 finish my dress?” As if I were making one, instead of chewing on it.