Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

If You Ever Wondered…

Fitting that I post this first.
From John Ciardi’s posthumous work entitled Echoes.

December 13, 1979
John Ciardi

Three squirrels wound and sprung to this remitted
December day chase tumble tails on the lawn.
They must be winter-sure in the elm, permitted
by a plenty in its boles. There’s not one acorn
on or under the oak. They go to go.
But why this lawn party? I think they know

The dog is old and stiff, his monster slacked.
His ears tense towards them but it takes four
deliberate heaves to get his hind legs cocked
as if to spring. And what shall he spring for?
There is no energy after energy.
He quivers feral, but then looks at me

as if I might serve them to him in a dish
like Greeks godsent to the ogre. Of my guilt
that I have un-creatured a world to this mish-mash
whine and quiver half-down in the silt
of a sludged insect, I toss him a soy bone.
He settles for my bogus and settles down.

And the squirrels spin, almost as if they flew,
to the top of the split shake fence, into the spruce,
across it over the roof, over the yew
and into the hemlock thicket, fast and loose,
as fast as easy, around and around again
in the feast of being able to. Amen.

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