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Dead Possum

By John I. Blair

Walking through my shaggy garden
And looking past the patio
At the brilliant show of pink oxalis
Growing (as they do)
Between the weathered bricks
I laid there thirty years ago
I became aware of death,
Sprawled across the masonry
As polished bones and matted fur.


Only then the awful odor
Started to assail my nose,
Confirming what my neighbor said
When he told me this was here,
The fragments of a possum
Who used to visit nightly
Seeking supper at my door.


I was glad then Id decided
Not to name the animals
Who come into my yard
And for a time are members
Of my outside family,
For names bestow a personhood
That I might not be prepared
To bid good-bye.

2022 John I. Blair, 4/18/2022


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