Monday, August 4, 2014

With Living Comes Dying

Epistle to a Shadow-Tailed Traveler

Dear squirrel on the sidewalk,
drawn out like a comma near the Capitol
Sports Bar and Night Club,
your head turned as in slumber,
it seems I may be your only mourner.
You may have preferred
your brethren in their furred coats
to bear your pall.
But I see no sign
of their gathering,
no keening mate
prostrate at your side,
not so much as a leafy shroud.
The sparrows might be supposed
to contribute a threnody,
but there is no pitch pipe
to help them find a note of sadness.
Let this, then, stand as your obituary.

There is the matter, also, of a eulogy.
I would deliver myself of it thus:

Squirrel led a happy life, if all too fleeting.
A bon vivant, Squirrel loved a fat acorn,
the thrill of high-wire acrobatics, a good scamper.
We shall all miss the cautionary flick
of his ample tail and his nervous chatter
about the impending approach of Dog.


by Yvonne Zipter
in Volume 3 Issue 1

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