Monday, May 4, 2009

Who Heard Squirrels

from The Wishing Bone Cycle translated by Howard Norman

He would just stop in the middle
of talking, as if he heard
squirrel noises.

And, he knew which tree to wait under
for squirrels. Even if he went out
in the dark
he knew which tree was going to be loud
before the squirrels got there!

I always remember this out loud
to people too: He would stop paddling
out near the center of a fishing lake,
to listen. Quietly. He would say nothing,
just chew his knuckles
with his teeth
to show me he heard a squirrel.

I knew he wishes his knuckles
were walnuts!

That far out in the lake I could hear
the paddles drip water all right,
but no squirrel noises!

But I saw a squirrel wake up
in his face, each time this happened.

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