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January 8, 2014 | Poetry

2 Poems

Jeff Tigchelaar

2 Poems photo

Dude, You Killed a Marsupial

 

            for my brother

 

What I’ve learned about opossums

since that gruesome ordeal

a few summers back

is that:

 

* they have hand-shaped paws

 

* they have prehensile tails

 

* they are on display (one of them, at least)

at the Prairie Park Nature Center

 

which means someone saw fit

to keep one alive

for educational purposes.

 

Someone whose job

is animals.

 

The Nature People seemed to think opossums

have something to offer!

 

* The one I saw had its own litter box. It knew

how to use a litter box, just like

a cat.

 

* In spite of resembling a rodent, the opossum

is North America’s only marsupial.

 

* They pouch their young!

 

* You killed America’s kangaroo.

 

And I helped. In the capture, at least. Though

in our defense, it was wreaking havoc

in mom and dad’s garage.

 

* Opossums can give birth to up to thirteen babies

after a gestation of only seven days.

They have two litters per year.

 

* You may have saved mom and dad

from later having 26 opossums in their garage.

 

* At three months old, the babies

emerge from the pouch

and ride on the mother’s back.

 

Precious!

 

Right?

 

* If startled, opossums have a faint reflex

known as “playing dead.”

 

Maybe it was

only playing

 

 

George Brett’s Labradoodle

 

May 30, 2012

 

George Brett’s dog is missing,

and I intend to find him.

 

Or her. I’m not sure at this point

whether it’s a boy or a girl. All I know

is that it’s George Brett’s dog,

and man, it’s gone.

 

George Brett tweeted

just seconds ago, says my wife,

that his beloved black Labradoodle had up

and taken off, and he – George Brett

 

– the greatest Kansas City Royal

of all time! – George Brett – the Hall

-of-Famer! – George Brett – one

of the finest third-baseman

ever to play the game! –

 

George Brett wanted to enlist the public’s help

in finding his much-loved Charlie.

 

Charlie! So it’s a he. Probably.

And there would be

“a reward”

for whoever so happens

to find Charlie.

And Charlie lives

in Kansas City. Mission Hills

near Tomahawk and Seneca.

And we, we live

a half hour west. George Brett

and George Brett’s dog, presumably,

are within 30 miles of where we now sit.

Of where we now stand.

Of where we now rise

to the occasion,

to the call, where we go

help a man in need, a man

 

who is missing a friend

who is missing – a man

who happens

to be George Brett

but who’s not beyond asking 

for help, not beyond seeking

the assistance of people

like you and me.

 

So – off we go: off to be

hero to a hero.

 

Here, Charlie!

 

image: Andromeda Veach


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