Possum Crossing

Nikki Giovanni

 
Backing out the driveway
the car lights cast an eerie glow
in the morning fog centering
on movement in the rain slick street
Hitting brakes I anticipate a squirrel or a cat or sometimes
a little raccoon
I once braked for a blind little mole who try though he did
could not escape the cat toying with his life
Mother-to-be possum occasionally lopes home . . . being
naturally . . . slow her condition makes her even more ginger
We need a sign POSSUM CROSSING to warn coffee-gurgling neighbors:
we share the streets with more than trucks and vans and
railroad crossings
All birds being the living kin of dinosaurs
think themselves invincible and pay no heed
to the rolling wheels while they dine
on an unlucky rabbit
I hit brakes for the flutter of the lights hoping it's not a deer
or a skunk or a groundhog
coffee splashes over the cup which I quickly put away from me
and into the empty passenger seat
I look . . .
relieved and exasperated ...
to discover I have just missed a big wet leaf
struggling . . . to lift itself into the wind
and live
 
From Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea by Nikki Giovanni. Copyright © 2003 by Nikki Giovanni. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

My First Memory (of Librarians) by Nikki Giovanni
This is my first memory
Quilts by Nikki Giovanni
Like a fading piece of cloth


Further Reading

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Charlotte Brontë in Leeds Point
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Coach Losing His Daughter
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Dangerous for Girls
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Flowers of Rad
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homage to my hips
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by Anne Waldman
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Notes from the Other Side
by Jane Kenyon
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The Changing Light
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The Fist
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The New Higher
by John Ashbery
The Pomegranate
by Eavan Boland
The Wild Iris
by Louise Glück
The Young Man's Song
by W. B. Yeats
White Apples
by Donald Hall
Workshop
by Billy Collins