Raccoon Consciousness

It's said raccoons, for instance,
are not conscious of being conscious.
Those who say so reserve the right
to deny self-consciousness to others.

As if to prove such so-sayers
wrong, a fat raccoon waddled
regularly into our urban yard
around noon, after storing

two young ones inside a hollow,
hallowed elm. Through glances,
posture, and unintimidated wariness,
she appeared to suggest wisdom,

not to mention disdain for
the pretentiousness of non-raccoon
life. She gobbled earthworms
with gourmandic zest, cooled

her belly on wet grass,
yawned, groomed her hands,
fixed black eyes on me,
who stared at her through glass.

She seemed to know a lot,
including that she knew.

hans ostrom 2007

by Hans Ostrom

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