The squirrel


They’re burning the old cottage at the bottom of the hill.
Gone are the beams that held up the roof,
which shouldered the snow.
Ash are the planks that made the floor
and shielded dry socks.
Cinders are the panels that covered the walls,
which hung the painting of a moose in the woods.
And then there’s me, sitting on my bench at the top of the hill,
inhaling the bitter smoke of death and loving the squirrel nibbling a nut
on the hemlock branch.