Tlacuache, Cornered
by David Bowles

Once revered,
the opossum crouches
in the cobwebby darkness
beneath the mobile home.
Lizards scatter scurrying
at the sibilant sound and
at the eyes glowing green
that steadily approach.

The cat is an intruder
a mercenary
cold and calculating
clawed and swift
that does not belong
brought like smallpox
and steel to this world
to wreak death upon birds
and fallen kings.

For the opossum ruled
when man was young
and gave him fire
and fermented drink
and was ever treated
with dignity. But here
among sloshing pipes
ragged insulation
oblivious anthills
he makes his last

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