After His Punishment

Dan Albergotti

The wide-eyed, voiceless boy watches a squirrel

ardently pressing thin paws to the wet earth.

The squirrel looks back at the boy, but doesn’t stop

its work until it’s finished burying the acorn.

Then the squirrel runs up the base of the oak,

stops, turns, and twitches its tail high behind its head,

as if transmitting a message in cryptic semaphore,

all the while with the boy fixed in its sight,

two black pupils like the points of polished spikes.

The boy is happy to be held there, buried

like an acorn. He feels loved like an oak now

under the awful blue weight of the sky.

about the author