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For an urban-ish area, we sure have a lot of wildlife. Last night, there were not one, but two full-size possums making the rounds. They were no doubt a couple, perhaps already having reproduced…let’s hope under someone else’s hedge. In honor of this rather unpleasant nocturnal visit (no, they did not even bother playing dead), I present two poems from Poetry magazine with very different takes on encountering the beasts.

 

POSSUM IN THE GARBAGE

by Faith Shearin

He was a surprise of white: his teeth
like knives, his face a triangle
of albino dislike. I had seen him before,
 
on our back porch, where my father
sometimes left watermelon rinds,
and he dipped his tongue into them,
his skin glowing beneath our lights,
like some four-legged relative
of the moon. I knew him
as a citizen of the night:
a fainting, ghostly presence
with a tail so naked it was…

 

FULL TEXT HERE

latest collection Orpheus, Turning(2015)

 

A POSSUM ENTERING THE ARGUMENT

by Tom Healy

We’re talking about
when we met
and you say
it was easier
to fall for me thinking
(I’ll remember
this pause)

it was likely I’d be

dead by now.
Talking. Falling.
Thinking. Waiting . . .
Have I
undone
what you’ve tried to do?
You say no.
You say the surprise
of still being
is something
being built—
the machine of our living,
this saltwork of luck,
stylish, safe,
comfortable and
unintended.
Meanwhile, I haven’t
had the opportunity
to tell you, but…

FULL TEXT HERE

latest collection: Animal Spirits (2009)

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