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Black Squirrels

These guys are really famous where I live. Since I still can't format properly, ~-----~ means break.

Black Squirrels

From white squirrels on lawns, a child's handbook

full of revolutionary popcorn in sewn-shut pockets:

advice from a birthday present, "Steal This Book:

or what to wear to a riot." I wore OD and combat boots, 

all I could afford (the next year brought running shoes

lined with newspaper, encased in Wonder,

angry at not being allowed to run 

barefoot - flatout in the 440 or the mile - long-legged, proud)

and then ashamed; I

hovered casually near the wastebin

"Are you gonna eat that?" my greeting

on the quad where protests 

(angry tears) passed through 

mists of eye-burning fog; shouts out

to a campus, the other side of the state

where protests left four dead.


I'd been there, snuck into a student dorm

armed with Mom's meal-card,

shamming, a faux student with a new intro

to Chinese calligraphy, and pottery

and then Flash forward. 35. Hundred. Empty. Boot-pairs. Several football fields' length

crammed in close formation

like mute black squirrels, standing at attention

but longer, the parade at terminal rest.

Brass burrs hinted at shell-casings

bracketing the other side of my life,

less than halfway through another war;

still hungry, teeth still missing, ready to bite

teaching athlete-scholars how to find their voice 

probing the empty sockets

without praising Gawd, nor passing ammo

along tree-lined streets . . . no willows.

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