Leaf-Raking In Autumn
The calm that comes
with the pull of the rake,
the rhythm of the scrape
drawing leaves to feet,
and the arc of the tines
reaching through air again
to embrace another family
of brown, littered with reds
and yellows, the smell
of smoke from a neighbor's pile,
burning in the newly crisp October air.
after Ted Kooser
I read a poem today about an opossum
that touched me,
and reminded me of a possum
in the garage of my wife's house.
Like the possum in the poem,
she was pink. She looked at us, calm,
her pink tongue poised at her pointed lips,
her pink fingers raised as if in prayer.
She wasn't afraid, she didn't flee.
She didn't attack in a frenzy of sharp claws.
She sat and looked at us as though
awaiting a fate she could not know.
She let us guide her
into a screened cage box covered
with a blanket to keep it dark,
and keep her calm.
We fed her niblets of dogfood,
kept a water dish full until
next night, in the dark,
we moved the cage into the back yard,
and lifted the screen gate and waited,
while she waited to see
if we were serious about her freedom.
And the next morning, the cage was empty.