Josephine Jacobsen Poems >>
Cul de Sac
In the grassplot's center was a bed of red roses,
A circle in a pear; round-eyed and fragrant
The great tame blossoms loaded the noon
With pleasure; the grass sparkled under the sprinkler;
The trees ranked black, banking the driveway;
The ferns sprang, still. A treetrunk came alive
With a cautious coon face cocked round the bole.
It watched the brightness and Erlend
Who held his hoe in wonder: Enemy
Watched watching enemy. Sidelong
The raccoon in silence without fear or cunning
Came down and shambled into the sun.
Out of the woods and the shade and the silence
It crept toward the sunny boy on the grass
Gaudy with drops. It crouched and lifted-
Anxious and silent in the blaze
Of sun and water and roses-its head
To what it should have known to be deadly.
Erlend got food in a white cracked bowl.
The raccoon ate it, using his hands,
His sinewy fingers; but he would not drink.
He wove over to Erlend's feet and stared.
His eyes stared up, dark from the dark fur,
He stared up in silence but urgently.
The rest was ugly and rapid. He was mad.
He stiffened, upright, water came from his mouth,
His mask contorted and he fell; got up;
Reared stiff, and fell, got up, and ran
Around. Shots ended the dumb-show suffering,
The raccoon was quiet in a bloody ruff.
It was insanity that brought him
Silent from the normal wood's hostility
Onto the bright unnatural grassplot,
Pigeon-toed, shambling, aping a pet;
But he was neither sane nor degraded;
He came from shadows to the blazing day.
He came to the devil-angels of his myth,
Crept to the glare of danger to be saved;
Alone, a crazy alien in the trees,
Was drawn to break bread in a travesty
Of friendship. The calendar and woods forgot him.
Not so the human who succored and shot him.
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Based on Topics: Nature Poems, Friendship Poems, Water Poems, Silence Poems, Pleasure Poems, Madness Poems, Curiosity Poems, Danger & Risk Poems, Enemy Poems, Suffering Poems, Moderation & Temperance Poems
Based on Keywords: contorted, shambling, aping, raccoon, shambled, hostility, travesty, succored, round-eyed, sprinkler, dumb-show