Dog and Squirrel: Steps in a Flirtation

The bushy flick of your tail
catches my attention.
I am aware of your presence,
but I am ignoring you.

You are now my bull’s-eye.
This will be a fine game.
It may be a game,
but I set the rules.

Whenever you lower your guard,
I step forward.
I never lower my guard.
All escape routes are intact.

My body is an arrow
pointing at your heart.
O large clumsy one,
have you any idea how fast I can run?

I draw closer.
The space between us is nothing.
Odd how the sunlight
kindles your dark fur.

I can taste the silk of your tail.
You can’t possibly get away now.
I know the precise point at which
I must flee. Still, those eyes . . .

Gaze locked, I pounce!
And you are . . .
Gone, of course.
My heart pounds! See you tomorrow?

—Joyce Sidman

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