Friday, 20 February 2009

One Squirrel by Janie Hoffman

It was February that day
that only one gray squirrel
came out to play;
he was sleek as midnight,
with a great plumed tail
and his eyes were the dark
beads of childhood games
he didn't dig under
the walnut tree
or scramble up
the bird feeder pole
to snatch at finch seed
like most of his kind
he was graceful, ungrounded
as a cloud, his jumps were pirouettes
and when he landed
his tail never touched ground
he sprang from tree limb
to fence and back again,
spinning like a top
he could have cocooned
in the woodpile, the cracked
trunk of the willow tree
or anywhere safer, warmer
but he just wanted
to dance, his tracks
criss-crossing like scattered
stitches sewn into the snow
going nowhere but back to him
and I thought he was the fish
I always dreamed
of catching just so I could
throw him back
as he leaped from tree to ground
a creature so unafraid
of the coldness
any human could know

Janie Hoffman, Vancouver, Canada


Crafty Green Poet said...

Janie reads and writes a lot of poetry and experiments with many genres. Her work has been published in over forty journals, including elimae, Eclectica and Mobius

Gordon Mason said...

Its amazing how interesting one squirrel, gray at that, can be. Liked the eyes and the jump descriptions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this poem! Great sense of movement. I remember those big gray squirrels all around Stanley Park...

Anonymous said...

I like this a lot. Squirrels are great fun to watch.