April 30, 2013

by Elizabeth Schultz

Adjusting to suburban
interstices, he lived
successfully, scuttling
among shrubs, along curbs,
scouting out grubs, tubers,
and the lady of his dreams.
He sustained his dignity
in a society prejudiced
against his tail.

At night, an opaque
shadow, he was backlit
by stars and headlights.
He had been hustling
gutters and, satiated,
sauntered across asphalt
when they aimed for him,
reduced his ancient lineage
to road-kill, contemporary,

I stretched him out
on earth’s altar to suppurate
into glory, his fur transformed
to grass, his teeth to seeds,
his tail to root. Bless
his bones and guts.

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Elizabeth Schultz lives in Lawrence, Kansas, following retirement from the English Department of the University of Kansas. She remains committed to writing about the people and the places she loves in academic essays, nature essays, and poems. These include Herman Melville, her mother, and her friends, the Kansas wetlands and prairies, Michigan’s Higgins Lake, Japan, where she lived for six years, oceans everywhere. She has published several books, and her scholarly and creative work appears in numerous journals and reviews.

  1. Elizabeth
    April 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I loved this.

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