Dogs 2005

ASPIRING ROADKILL
(9/8/05)


it was one
of those things
that happens so quickly
but yet
at the same time
so
slowly

I saw
the squirrel
first run down
the trunk of the tree
and across the grassy yard
to stop at the curb
balance upright
and look down the street
at an oncoming
car

how many times
have we seen these
suicidal squirrels?

these thrill-seeking rodents?

what's their story anyway?

what natural urge
would lead them
to a brink of
destruction?

it then made
the calculated dash
in front
of the moving machine
easily out-pacing the
menacing tires
to arrive safely
in the middle
of the street
pausing
to sit up once more
apparently savoring
its tiny-minded
victory

then
something happened
that I hadn't
ever seen before

as the passing vehicle
drew almost even
with the animal
the squirrel
made a flashing leap
to land directly in front
the spinning rubber
of the driver side
front wheel

certainly
it was a goner

but through
an almost instantaneous
nano-adjustment
it somehow
shifted itself
safely within
the vehicle's wheelbase
missing by only
an inch or so
a crushing demise
as the car passed
directly over
head

once
the sedan cleared
the squirrel
sat up again
to watch its death
driving away
all excitement now gone
it looked a little sad
and reflective

it was definitely
one whacked
tree rat

what the hell?

have we caused
a collective species
to run amok
amongst
our mobile
technology?

maybe
since we first began
to roll the prosaic wheel
and exert our influence
we have perverted
every natural act
in our proximity
and the notion
of a separate
and isolated
Nature
and her acts
ceased
to exist
entirely

if our insidious
technological madness
affects
these pea-brained rodents
our unimaginative cousins
to such an extent
is it any wonder
why our own
questionably complicated minds
of such underused capacity
create such horrors
for ourselves
and others

if only
our own
most unnatural
and self destructive
human acts
could be limited
to the realms
of jaywalking

unfortunately
we are much
more creative
and cruel
in our own
human obsessions
with death