I was distracted by other thoughts.


The squirrel darted left, right, I didn’t slow or hit the brakes

because I was thinking:


Dad’s first Thanksgiving alone.

Is the paint thinner and all that oil still in the basement?

It is hard to go home.


 He ran under the wheels.  I looked back,

 his white belly shone in the sun.


This morning, wings outstretched as if in prayer,

 the vultures warmed in the dead tree.


Barbara Brooks, author of “The Catbird Sang” chapbook, is a member of Poet Fools . She has had work accepted in The Oklahoma Review, Blue Lake Review, Granny Smith Magazine, Third Wednesday, Shadow Road Quarterly, Indigo Mosaic and on line at Southern Women’s Review, Poetry Quarterly Big River Poetry among others. She is a retired physical therapist and lives in Hillsborough, N.C. with her two dogs.

I wrote this poem after my mother died and my father had moved into assisted living.  I was not really paying attention driving in my neighborhood and hit the squirrel.  These were my thoughts at the time and my seeing the squirrel in the rear view mirror.  And the next day, the vultures were in the tree getting ready for their day.




Copyright 2009