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the squirrel

There is an idea just outside my window
chittering at me
scampering around the yard like a mad thing
which I guess it is.

The dog next to me really wants to go outside
“No,” I tell her, “it’s just an idea.
You’ll never catch it. Leave it be.”
She is undeterred.

The idea runs up the short wooden fence
scampers along the top of the fence
like climbers hiking the ridge of an impossible mountain
but faster and fearless of falling

Impossibly nimble, the idea finds a berry,
a nut, nourishment for ideas not yet fully developed
and cheeks bulging runs up a straight tree
ninety degrees from the ground

A hawk’s shadow stops the idea in its tracks
red in tooth and claw but –
ideas have a life of their own, genetic memory saying
“Hold still. Hold still or die.”

A fox waits for an idea to come to her.
The idea calmly crosses Edison’s suburban tightrope
to a safer yard, footloose and fox-free
to find a nut to bury, forget, and cause an oak.

The idea spies another yard,
grass greener, nuts sweeter and
like so many ideas that have come before
starts out across the street

like so many ideas that have come before
doesn’t make it across the street.
Just another idea run down dead in the road.

I never said it was a particularly bright idea.

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