The Squirrel

The Squirrel

I wanted to write about
a squished squirrel
I saw on the road
near my house last week.
You can’t write a poem
about a squished squirrel,
my teacher said to me.
I mean, you just can’t do it.
Pick a sunrise or an eagle
or a dolphin, he suggested.
Pick something noble
to lift the human spirit.
I tried. I really did. But I kept
coming back to that squirrel.
Did his wife send him out
to fetch some food or something?
There was blood and guts
but here’s what really got me:
he had pretty dark eyes
and they glistened still.
You can’t write a poem
about a squished squirrel,
my teacher insisted,
but I don’t think that’s true.

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