Seventeen years ago

The other day when I was walking to the laundromat
I saw a dead oppussum lying in the sunlight
on the grass between the sidewalk and street.
Five or six dead young lay near her; one
still lived. Half-propped against another, it struggled
to right itself, and made dog-paddle motions with its forelegs,
the naked head jutting forward into the sun.
It was what would typically be called “a mild Spring day”
— windless, temperate, clear —
and the time seemed perfectly still and quiet.
When I got to the laundromat
a TV showed Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf returning home
to thousands of cheering and happily crying Americans, and on the way back
I saw it was dead.

 

I wrote this in 1992-ish, and just found it on my hard drive and liked it.

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