Early morning autumn. Leaves fall
from the tree in the moonlit yard. I haul
the front porch chair to the driveway for a better
listen. Ah, the crisp rustle of the changing season.
Ah, the clearing of my mind. I settle down,
content in my chair. Until
Off to the side, comes the snuffling of a
night creature. Raccoon, probably; groundhog,
perhaps; who the heck knows?
This is why I don’t go camping –
this mysterious, unsettling, unknown imposition
of the nocturnal world. And in an instant of
freshly caffeinated certainty, I’m suddenly
quite sure it must be…
A skunk that I will startle.
A skunk that by instinct shall spray me.
A skunk that will define
the rest of the day the week the month the year
oh it started so magnificently!
and ended so badly,
so godawful stinkin’ badly.
And so, slowly, I rise.
Even more slowly,
I backstep to the porch,
chair in hand.
Set the chair down.
Ease myself in
by the solid brick wall of the house.
And there I sit, in the moonlight shadow,
only half listening
to the fall of the leaves.