There was a dead squirrel in the rain barrel that day.
It wasn't the first,
although we'd tried every manner of lid and mesh to keep them out.
Maybe it came down the gutter, she said
as we fished the blasted thing out;
maybe, I said, but it's hard to believe
something built for climbing couldn't make it out
of that beat-up old pipe.
I don't know why they keep coming here to die,
she said as we dug a hole by the spruce tree.
All these would-be swimmers
not to mention
the one who knocked down the wood pile
the one who kept teasing the neighbour's dog
and the one who ran back and forth across the front street
for a while...
That's some bad squirrel mojo.
I suppose you're right, I said
as we buried it under a rock
to keep the cats from digging it up.
Poor stupid thing.
The next day there was a squirrel at the bird seed.
I guess it just goes to show
stomach wins out over karma every time
(for a while).
I'm a little leery of saying too much about this poem. It's more carefully constructed than it might appear to be at first, and I hope there are a few more layers than might be initially obvious.
The repetition and parallel construction are entirely on purpose, by the way. As is the tone.
I do put a bit of thought into these things, surprisingly enough.