Rebecca Morgan Frank
Three Poems

The Goat’s Eye 

        after The Three Surgeons 


The surgeons were showing off. 

“Cut off my hand!” “Dig out  

my eye!” “Carve my heart right 

out!” Each one bragged, “I 


will sew it back into the seam 

of me.” As always, a servant girl 

is blamed for the missing parts, 

and her lover saves the day 


by scavenging for organs 

at the gallows and the farmyard. 

The real thief, the cat, pays 

only with her golden eye, 


the pupil a slender almond 

slit, vertical and calculating. 

But in the original, the surgeon’s  

eye is replaced with a goat’s. 


The pupil of a goat’s eye is square, 

a panoramic camera capturing 

all future violence. A scapegoat  

was made to take on the sins of man. 


So what does a goat see from 

inside a man? The greed of grass  

changing hands? Something the satyr 

can’t hear? Can’t run from? 


The surgeon carves up the goat, 

the three surgeons feast and drink. 

The servant girl cleans the bloody  

knife, the platter, three plates. 





 Radio, Radio 


Listen at the edge of the yard– the crickets 

bubbling up, tuning the end of summer. 

The baseball game calling through static. 

Over on the bridge, an old man is still fishing. 

No one has told them they’ve stopped stocking 

the pond. No one has told him the game has ended. 

Why shouldn’t the dead talk through 

these currents? Who says we’re not listening? 








in the yard, 


unspoken and rusted, 

holds the threat of barb, 


the slippery mud’s 

impatience with our 


steps. You once 

asked for my forgiveness 


and I withheld 



I knew 

what a lie was 


and how its roots 

traveled. After, 


the yard was full 

of bittersweet 



it had been crawling 


underneath us 

the whole time. 

Ruby Robinson

Ruby Robinson

Ruby Robinson