When our world shuts down,
the racoons gather
around the ancient fire
in their eyes.
Do they mourn the day's losses,
the missing mother,
the mangled cubs?  Do they crawl
behind bush and barrel to view the roadside
remains?  From where
this determination
to open every can, bang every lid?
Is this their nightly vengeance, some crazy
protest against pavement?
Is the road their Dachau,  
preserved in primitive
memory, passed on
in secret sound and song?

August 1988

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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