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  • Writer's pictureJean Linville


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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Feb 11, 2021

The damn feeders are empty again.

The birds can't fly as

Fast as the fear they feel

I thought I shot them

All yesterday

Today there seems to be

Twice as many

Damn squirrels they

Are a nuisance.

I prefer birds.

Things dad would say

Then "bang" got him


Bethe Hagens
Bethe Hagens
Feb 09, 2021

I'm starting to think of squirrels as manifestations of myself. They are practically a blanket out on the little granite/garden area just outside the French doors. They devour every shell peanut I put out for the crows, who seem now to prefer Meow Mix. They are ravenous, speedy, never sitting still. Little red squirrels, chipmunks, and huge gray squirrels. Most of our birds fly overhead to their feeders, but the crows hang out above it all, on branches in the tall oaks, and must kind of wonder about what exactly to do.

In warmer months, Waynno traps squirrels and chipmunks (they destroy the yard and gardens), and he takes them to a place across the river where ("they" say) they…

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