Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Off to Work

Here he is, dressed in the tacky
wrapping paper of plaid
and roses. Passing an opossum flat among
its scattered young. Maybe
this is what things look like
when humans aren’t around. The surplus
store on an impoverished hillside. The mind
in its own place. Hemmed in
among the lungwort, “I paid
my way” the stoat snurls. While
Badger’s all spatter and blubber—a knife
smeared with butter left
on the tablecloth. “There were lots of times
I didn’t love . . . ,” he
sighs past his coffee. He doesn’t add
up. Doesn’t have a hustle,
so much as a way of simply staying alive.  end

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