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Squirrels

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Something blurred, warmed
in the eye’s corner, like woodsmoke
becoming tears;
but when you turned to look

the stoop was still, the pumpkin
and tacky mum pot wouldn’t talk —
just a rattle
at the gutter and a sense

of curtains, somewhere, pulled.
Five of   them later, scarfing the oak’s
black bole,
laying a dream of snakes.

Needy and reticent
at once, these squirrels in charred November
recall, in Virgil,
what it is to feel:

moods, half-moods,
swarming, then darting loose; obscure
hunches that refuse
to speak, but still expect

in some flash of   luck
to be revealed. The less you try
to notice them,
the more they will know of  you.

Source: Poetry (September 2013)

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

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Squirrels

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