Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Squirrels and Us

It's in the nature of a squirrel
To stutter-sprint across open ground
Leap and pause, double-back
Start and stop and start again
Quick as you blink

A hawk will snatch a squirrel
Who hews to a true trajectory

But on city streets
There's no hawk to fool
Just the onrushing oblivion
of tires on pavement.

Still, a squirrel has its nature
Memories burned into the blood and bone
of generations
And it gives up these habits hard

How often do we hesitate,
Reverse course or stop short
Because we imagine the shadow
of a hawk overhead
Flying out of our past
Thinking we are dodging phantom dangers
When we are only fooling

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