Possum in the Garbage

He was a surprise of white: his teeth
like knives, his face a triangle
of albino dislike. I had seen him before,
on our back porch, where my father
sometimes left watermelon rinds,
and he dipped his tongue into them,
his skin glowing beneath our lights,
like some four-legged relative
of the moon. I knew him
as a citizen of the night:
a fainting, ghostly presence
with a tail so naked it was
embarrassed to drag behind him.
But that morning, terrified and violent,
he was different: a hissing fury
at the bottom of the garbage can,
a vampire bathed in light.

Poem copyright ©2015 by Faith Shearin, “Possum in the Garbage,” from Orpheus, Turning, (The Broadkill River Press, 2015). Poem reprinted by permission of Faith Shearin and the publisher.
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