• Jean Linville

squirrels


February 4 - February 8 Week 58/72


my dad used to shoot them

and mark their passing with a penciled

hash mark on the inside wall of the garage

I remember standing nearby out in the sun

barely chest-high staring up wonderingly

as he tallied up his count for the year

to me this was a mysterious and unknown

sliver of him that he would take to his grave

actions incongruent and shocking

as if the loud crack of a gun were

to reverberate right now through snow

silently stacking itself on branches

empty bird house roofs and the backs

of grey squirrels safely eating beneath

the line of bird feeders as I recall how he

patiently taught me to read the sky each season

for signs of an approaching storm





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