Poem of the Week, by Max Garland

Sciurus Carolinesis
– Max Garland      

It’s hopeless how she loves this life.

The gray squirrel digs a small moon’s

worth of craters in the yard.

Some she fills, some leaves open.

I’ve seen her work a walnut, still green,

round and round, shaving the surface

down to the meat. It moves in her claws

like a planet, or a bead

bigger and quicker than worry.

By love, I mean she uses the day

down to the last morsel of light—digs, barks,

insults the crow, wields

and lashes her tail like a glorified whip.

There’s a charge in her, wild volts.

A livid motion, leaping from red pine

to hackberry, the single forepaw catching first,

swinging under, then over, then onto

the branch. She’s a circus

when she takes to the power lines,

racing the live wire above the lowly

addresses. She’s a spiral of serious sleep

in the high hollow of the pin oak.

By love, I mean filling herself

with small right intentions. By life,

I mean she looks at you from the railings.

A kind of dare is in her, her tail curled

like a bass clef, or mutant fern.

You won’t catch her. She’s scrolling

from scent to sound to slightest motion.

However the light moves

might be ruin, or rich enough to rob.

The way she ransacks, hoards, loses,

lashes, bluffs the crouched cat,

the unleashed dog, her death,

a dozen times a day, is what I mean

by hopeless how she loves this life.

For more information about Max Garland, please click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Garland

My Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Alison-McGhee/119862491361265?ref=ts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s