almost

after dark
he knows
his way along the animal trail
that crosses my back yard
better than
my neighbor, McDougal
knows the way home
after midnight from
the Black Thorn

both of them push along
with long noses
pressed to the dirt
but the marsupial
…the aged opossum

…this one…

…the one I wait for…

has escaped
for a year.
Now I hear him
rustling in the fence row
darting past
the 4 volt landscape lites
hiding for a moment
behind the hibiscus
sensing, maybe
the shit to come
but he makes
his move

…he darts up into the
bougainvillea
then in careful
avoidance of thorns
he appears on the far side
of the property
atop the fence and

HE’S
closing in fast

…I am careful, though
I’m sitting on an overturned bucket
wearing a bathrobe
and
flip-flops made
in Okinowa

AND I have
my sister Muriel’s
22 single shot
sighted carefully
as I,
in silence wait
for him

…and then he’s upon me
six, or seven feet away

Keep the dogs in, I yell to Leah
he hears me and
then he freezes, teeth clacking
eyes flashing

I squeeze off a shot
it misses by 2 or 3 feet

later, Leah asks
if I got him
and I say
almost.

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3 thoughts on “almost

  1. yeah, I like “almost”. Lots of “almosts” make up our lives. Reminds me of the time a coyote got into our chickens, husband ran out with a rifle and the coyote actually stopped and turned around with the squawking chicken in it’s jaws and stared at my husband. Yeah, he almost hit him.

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