he could die now
flattened by wheels
electrocuted, biting a live wire
or simple disease
or drown

all the complications, amassed

*   *   *

somewhere, in the limbs
what had riled him so early?
Blue Jay
could be confused
for squirrels

(What was the opera, anyway? Certainly not Cinderella
with her matching fur slippers)

unlike Cardinal
or those who keep a steady pace
each sunrise

each species      how much     bite off and chew
bury the rest     now     in a fury     neighbors     gain consciousness
take aim     if they can     brush the turret

*   *   *

Was she more rabbit or possum?
“Oh, but possums are meaner – they have more teeth
and they’re sharp” – well matched, in the end

*   *   *

knowing all the same          they’ll be back
dawning alarm not of squirrels but outraged jays
surround a marauding crow

every jay within a mile or two assembles for attack
one after another, they dart at a wincing intruder
that finally departs, offended

already crows lay siege to a mockingbird nest
they pestered before destruction
try as you will, you can’ prevent much

even when striving for balance
still, you undertake what you can
alarmed, yes, and full of frustration,
load and fire the kid’s super-saturation water gun

startle a few squirrels raiding the bird feeder
knowing, all the same, they’ll be back
yet hoping he can prevent them

*   *   *

stripping the black walnut tree
after the strawberries and blueberries
all in their brief season

*   *   *

from the instrument he carries across thin snow
duty said nothing     children, you know

domestic matters and adventures
of mice and squirrels and the manor

gingerbread, the squirrels and rabbits love to nibble

*   *   *

before the endless domestic encounters

Snakes in the basement.
Bees streaming
from the barn’s
loose siding.

I’ve lived many places:
I’ve lived nowhere
but the wind
or the workplace
until now.

*   *   *

keep the shell healthy     for all within
he once thought, ignoring     the empty fruit basket

he would learn there are jobs a man does
as if that, in itself, is sufficient qualification

what does he know     now the world’s shrinking
save for trash removal?     tell him, then, the eternity of hell

is different from the eternity of paradise
one just won’t end     the other seems a flash

it’s no different than becoming conscious

abed they listen     in winter night scratching inside old house walls

all the same      she rolls toward him

he could depart as an old man     baffled by suspenders to his pants
while his wife’s away     having her hair styled

all along, his lady has been a holy terror     as much as any
holy mother     even so, they always get envelopes in the mail

*   *   *

he could be the squirrel at the bay window
or that whistle

Poem copyright 2015 by Jnana Hodson
To read the full set of squirrelly poems,
click here.

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