Friday, September 23, 2011

Skunk


There is a dog down the block who is off its leash. I've been trying to train my cat to come outside, now that I have a front yard, but to stay around the house.

Critters want to chase things though. And a wayward squirrel will send him reeling into the street. It scares me. There is so much roadkill here in this green town full of trees and pretty spiders. I don't know what's become of me. But I rarely kill critters anymore. I put out the spiders. I've even taken to jarring the smaller centipedes and putting them outside in the grass.

The other night, I saw something dark in the road and veered. Then it moved and I stopped. Let it pass. Tiny skunk. Making its way across the, then, empty Jackson Road. Busy street by day. Its bristly head down, it skulked off to the other side of the street. I wonder how many people stop for critters. I know sometimes you can't stop. But I wonder who does or doesn't stop, even when they can. Sometimes, I've stopped, instinctively, and almost been hit from behind.

Critters don't understand the curb. The road. The cool of the hardened tar must feel good on their bellies, because they lounge there.

And those bellies, undone, is what you see, everyday, leftover in the road. Turned inside out. Mangled. Juice red. Pummeled to inedible meat. Dogs litter the highways and I wonder if someone loved them.

People complain about the smell of skunk here. It often smells like skunk. I kind of like it. A sign of defense. Of awareness. The smell is a lot like weed, actually. And I actually hate the smell of weed. But the dense reek of skunk takes up the sky. Is larger than their timid bodies.

Lingers long after they've hidden themselves away, where nothing can get to them.

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