the therapist says nothing
I haven't told myself -
rainless clouds


Red squirrels have been part of my life since the first day I moved into the house. Every morning they race across the roof and bounce into the trees, chattering and chasing each other. Every so often they freeze upside down on a tree trunk, tails flicking, nostrils twitching, eyeing me as I watch them cavort from one of the garden to the other.

One day I hung a bird feeder from one of the trees. The squirrels chattered for joy and raced across my rood more than once. The friskiest one walked the length of the branch, hung from it by his hind legs, stretched himself out as far as he could, grabbed the feeder and brought it close to scoop seed into his waiting mouth. The next day I came home with a metal pole with an extension arm and planted it in the middle of the garden away from everything that squirrels could climb. It stood there like the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. No sooner had I hung the feeder than the squirrels found their way up, reached the feeder, shook it hard, watched the seeds scatter to the ground, and then jumped down eagerly to feed. Refusing to be defeated, I greased the pole with vegetable oil. Now the squirrels strain their way to the top, red bellies glistening in the sun, their brown eyes fixed on me as they slide down the pole like firefighters.

                                  broken promise
                                  a magnolia bloom thuds
                                  onto the ground