Ode to Red
I killed it, I did not mean it, but it’s dead
Not a comrade, nor from a cliff. I looked back with dread
Squashed down flat, bang in my tire track. Swerve, I tried!
In my head, the taste of the dead. Blood flicks my underside
All day long. “I did what was wrong!” Tail upright,
dashes for the road. In my sights, now all in this ode.
A rodent. But there’s no lament, for a fly,
Or a bee. Should there be an ode for all those who die?
Still there, in my eye, the fallen red squirrel,
Crows’ food now, on street fouled. But not a foe, nor a villain
No tchick tchick. The nut gatherer no longer presides,
in high lodgepole skies. Eyes all closed, but for this ode.
Uncounted? But I remember all of them
Robin, squirrel, sphinx moth, brown bat, Admiral, quail hen
In the grill, under hood. Oil mingled with their blood
Not for war, that is more. No disaster, no great flood
But still we lament, for another life spent
Not the fallen: those we remember. But not those we’ve run over.