Something blurred, warmed
in the eye’s corner, like woodsmoke
but when you turned to look
the stoop was still, the pumpkin
and tacky mum pot wouldn’t talk —
just a rattle
at the gutter and a sense
of curtains, somewhere, pulled.
Five of them later, scarfing the oak’s
laying a dream of snakes.
Needy and reticent
at once, these squirrels in charred November
recall, in Virgil,
what it is to feel:
swarming, then darting loose; obscure
hunches that refuse
to speak, but still expect
in some flash of luck
to be revealed. The less you try
to notice them,
the more they will know of you.
Source: Poetry (September 2013)