Animals

Roll Call of the Dead

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by Ann LaBar

I.

Tale of year’s dead,
Grim Reaper busy in root cellar and shed
The list is a long one:

Commencing with countless least shrews,
twenty-some short tailed shrews strewn
about the painted grey concrete floor.

Feet were found at foot of stairs, a tail (or two)
alongside the furnace, entrails neatly placed
near the electric clothing dryer.

Among the former, five meadow voles (three found
sadly without head or liver), seventeen deer mice,
twelve house mice, and eight Norway rats intact

laid to rest in front of the patio glass doors.
And, not to forget, one rarely seen beyond
the back wood acre, possibly, an eastern wood rat.

It was difficult to undeniably determine based only
upon the remaining back end.  Two well known rabbits.
The large grey squirrel, from the oldest oak,

died so recently that many still mourn the loss.

II.

Let’s not forget, Eastern cottontail,
Short-eared and short-tailed,
May she be granted peace.

Mourning dove, only her vacant eyes
and crying beak remain. “ Cooo-ah coo coo coo.”
May she be granted peace.

Eastern Phoebe, well loved, identified by feathers
brown and olive, grey and white, spread across the yard.
May she be granted peace.

Those thought to be responsible,
the felines of the porch, left a bloody trail
of paw prints atop the tan Maytag
below the broken basement window.

May we pray for peace.

Ann LaBar

1011814_10201243491427543_1560250774_nAnn LaBar has an MFA from the University of Alaska in poetry, espresso, and midnight-sun-induced mania. She’s a writer. A fiber Artist. Chicken Wrangler. Superhero. Always looking for what makes her laugh. Found him. Married him. Bought a goat.

 

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