Mobirise Website Creator

Individual Voices / Natural Forms

Winter, 2006

Doren Robbins

Don't Feed the Sign

After the rain stopped for a while,
I went up to the palisade for a walk
and to feed roasted peanuts to the squirrels.
A new sign up there warned me
not to feed them or other "vermin."
But I'm not someone going to
get rabies from a squirrel.
Screw the sign. I prefer
squirrels to the upholders
of these signs especially,
and to the painters of
the signs as well, though,
with a couple of exceptions
I suspect that
for the painters it was
just a job. I always feed
the squirrels and the birds
that aren't so picky about
what I've got. I used to
feed them with my wheezing
emphysemic grand-father who
usually walked around the park
with a pigeon on his hat.
And I feed them now with
my three-year-old nephew
so he will learn the trick of
reaching them and feeding them
from own his hand, so as to find out
what they are like, and know
his distance, and know
their swift movement.
It's a little thing, their endless
appetite, their elegance, what
a three year old remembers, my
optimism, the squirrels' filth,
their agile balance and grip,
their fur more lustrous
than human hair.