They were a close family of giant otters

in Surinam giving a low growling sound when

they were insecure so they were called the Hummers.


Trace elements had landed near them and they effloresced

in even amounts throughout an even eon and an evening more

fortune as they were in knowing nothing


or peering curiously into unknowable presence

alert to no future living the past as presence

whose elements were traces in their efflorescing being


         —Jackson Mac Low, “Giant Otters”



They were a woolen family of rollicking accusers

whose uptight stance as regards the law

was confused by constantly desiring amusement.

Each day after dinner they would take a walk

through the neighborhood, wearing tweed suits

& crossing at the cross-walks, adults first

with the children close behind. We received

their complaints politely, & when we received

a summons for making too much noise

we deceived ourselves into believing we were

in the wrong. In court, we pleaded guilty

& ever after tried to be more law-abiding.