A squirrel lies on its side
while the sun lays gentle fingers,
hoping to warm him in his hour of need.
But nothing can heat up preternatural cold.
I fend off Mother Nature’s cleanup crew,
remove the maggots,
and tenderly lift him and place him
in the soft fissure I have hollowed
out of the earth beneath an oak tree.
With him I place a few nuts and acorns,
for the journey to his afterlife.
The red jays and chickadees have come out
to offer an eulogy and I
say a silent prayer of safe passage.