(I found this while sifting through poems for this semester’s portfolio. It made me laugh, and laughter is fun to share.)

Campus Squirrel

Almost home, I peek around my bark
steps and straw yard, a pine cone
meal between my grinding teeth.

A twitching, bushy tail never lies.

A giant stalks my home. All I see
are feet: The eyes and nose
of a giant’s toes covet and spy on
my feast. Those toes brush the air
and sweep the stiff brown straw.

The giant’s growl grows closer.

I bound across the cracked white ground
but pause and hide by the shiny wheel rack.

My tail bristles and twitches.

A parade of giant feet! They scrape,
stomp and flout their great height
and numbers. They grumble
and screech about giant matters.

Their traffic blocks my only escape.

I spring and turn, pine cone burning
my mouth. The first giant thrusts
a claw from high above its tall toes.

I bounce backward.

It must lust for my feast. The traffic
stomps on past the racks—their wheels
and pedals louder than the storms
that uproot barked houses.

Triumph so close. Starvation
nearly abated. But I’m trapped.

Life-granting pine cone, I pray
for salvation and safe passage.

The bells sound: a resonating hell
that rattles the straw and hastens
the giants’ feet. The toes fly
from my house with the chimes.

The ground thunder settles.

And I, delivered by the blessed
pine cone, skip up my bark
steps and nibble my stress
away.

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