Squirrel In The Rain

He perches, in sparkling eyed contemplation
of the goal. Like some celebrated stylite,
he squats on his post, oblivious
to the hostile elements. My stare

intrudes upon his gaze; defiance
resonates across the intervening space. And then
the sudden leap,
a precarious landing on the ridge; teeth bared

he nuzzles the meshwork tower,
seeking nutrition.

Losing his grip,
he hastily takes flight, back
to the stepping stone beam -
the garden fence’s parapet.

A sudden sure footed spring onto the post;
I stare at him, he glowers back at me,
brush-tail twitching. I sense
a mood of defiance; he leaps once more
to the bird tables roof.

A turbulent manoeuvre finds
a covered plateau. A sense
of instability
takes charge. He beats
a hasty retreat.

Post squatted,
he focusses once more.
He steels himself,
then springs.

The glistening plastic proves
more than a match; he takes
a floundering fall
into the sodden undergrowth.

Bedraggled, he climbs the austere fence,
tail discomfortedly curled,
shakes vigorously. The watery beads
propel themselves from body into air.

Straight tailed, disconsolate,
he beats retreat
along the wooden parapet.



22 May 2006

by Malcolm Evison

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