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L C Vieira

(Lisbon, Portugal)

A Man and His Squirrel


For how many months have you
fought the squirrel -
the clever one,
the one that does not quit,
the envy of his crowd?

He - or she - seems to be
your hunter's equal,
jumbling up your grand conceptions,
patient in the waiting
for your next big solution.

So stubborn-brave
(or foolish if he falls) ,
he crosses your careful
human logic and defies
your distances and heights,
curves and angles -
over bird seed spilled
in haste,
food for those tougher days
when other mouths are full.

He thinks,
What now? What now?
What trickery is this
glistening half-orb
blocking much wider -
my easy treat?

You think,
three weeks of Saturdays,
watching, waiting, and
it seems a certain break.

It's now! I've finally won!
The new ceiling lamp apart
did the trick -

but look again -
how is that curious fellow
once more, past your new,
shiny idea -
suddenly, remarkably
stuffing his cheeks,
smug, with your gold?

He's enjoying the moment
of you there staring,
shaking your head,
perplexed but thrilled
in the contest.

Back you'll go,
retreat for now to find
new plans,
greater distances,
higher heights,
more careful curves,
and alarming angles.

You two are of the same kind:
hunters face to face,
respectfully,
a man and his squirrel.
Yes, it's just another afternoon
for a man and his squirrel
eyeing, spying, and trying
to outwit the other.

Submitted: Monday, April 01, 2013
Edited: Friday, July 26, 2013

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My husband's dilemma...

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