Friday, June 8, 2012

Poetry Friday: Return

Not sure this is quite ready to be a poem, but since I've been trying lately to have something new up each Friday, here goes anyway.

Return

I left the watering can on the back deck and didn’t
think anything of it.  Half full, maybe a little less.

The
seedlings
had needed
me, and would
need me the next day.
What harm was there in
being half ready?  Time passed.
The next day came.  Standing at the
faucet, water flowing into the can, my
nostrils bristled at the smell of yesterday’s stale
water.  Trying to embrace “organic,” all I could think
was “rank.”  It wasn’t until my eyes fell upon the contents
that I realized what had happened.  A curious
chipmunk had climbed in.
Couldn’t get out.
Drowned.
Died.

Right there, in the flowers’ water.

I bolted to the back of the yard, tipped
the can and its contents onto a patch of
lawn.  The water soaked into the ground. 
The chipmunk carcass, pale and strangely
smooth, did not.  But digging a hole I
could not bear.  “Tomorrow,” I said to
myself.  “First thing in the morning.” 
What harm was there in being saddled by
guilt?  Time passed.  Next day I returned,
to bury my error.  My fault.  My neglect. 
Only to find that the small, sad body was
gone.  Carted off, no doubt, by raccoon or
other eerie creature of the night.  My heart
bristled.  I rued my delay.  I stood in the
sun.  Time passed.  Perhaps, upon
reflection, it was not the worst of
outcomes for the chipmunk body.

Still dead, yes.
But at least he went straight back
to the living.

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