The Opossum
by Carl Wade Thompson

Skeletal hands amble through brush,
gripping the ground in tufts.

Rat tail swings among leaf drifts,
climbing trees and fence posts,
it waits overhead,
growls like a graveyard dog,
fur gray and soft as a cat’s pelt,
hungry as every creature should.

Vile, ugly, the creature waits for night,
lies low, asleep dead on,
moans with shrill cries
from a nightmare unseen,
only heard in the Fall stillness.

With the night it rakes its claws
listens for the break of dawn,
peering into nothing.

It thinks of food,
of meat rubbing its stomach,
stretching it long and narrow
as it lies basking in night glow,
loosens a hunger howl,
it’s dream breaks empty.

Pa don’t care for Opossum,
not one little bit.
Doesn’t care as it thrashes,
beats it dead with a stick.

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