Critters

Richard Berlin, M.D.: “There is something about the condensed pressure of poetry that feels very natural to me.”

At the end of winter

squirrels and coons forage

at the wood line, the fox

bounces by with a blue jay in his grin,

and a possum on our plowed driveway

looks so pale my daughter believes

she’s seen a ghost. This morning

a bobcat sits in the meadow

like an Egyptian statue,

the way I do with patients,

just another critter

with my hairless white coat

dragging on the ground,

two short legs raising me

high enough to see a hungry world.

And I make my muted calls,

run down whatever paths are cleared,

the smell of death in my nostrils,

praise on my lips

for any healing the earth might offer.