Sunday, December 18, 2005

Animal Family (Liz)

Animal Family

The rodents are redundant
this year, having easily survived
last year’s mild winter. We watch
baby chipmunks scamper
from beneath the porch, playing
tag amidst the dry leaves;
rabbits bounce through
a game of hop scotch
in the junipers

Up on the hill the deer graze
on our shrubs, a forest of
forsythia now a razor shaven edge
of barren stalks, blindly awaiting
winter’s deep freeze

Squirrels have burrowed
into the attic, building
a home among the eaves,
arriving and departing
with the ease of a lazy roofer
through a crack in the flashing;
their well fed family proliferates daily.
I climb up, hammer in hand,
but cannot go in for the kill

I should pray for cold weather
to reduce this pesky population;
instead, I am secretly delighted
by the wild kingdom residing
in our own backyard, remnants
of the family we never had
together.

–Liz Burk
Draft © E. Burk 2005 All rights reserved

1 comment:

Susan said...

This poem is so deeply and fully satisfying in terms of the life of the animals and their enriching presence in the human world.

However. when I get to the last line, it feels like another poem must be written about that last line.

The animal family and its effect on the narrator of the poem is full; the human family and its effect on the narrator is yet to be told.