Winter Walk

I watched a squirrel today,
twisting, flying suppleness
It flipped back and forth, springing up from the ground
and landing, on its back, rolling, twisting, and springing again.
I was mesmirized, stopped in the street while the pale winter sky glimmered.

A car with a neighbor had just gone by, this narrow stretch of Arlington
otherwise quiet. The squirrel
was silent in that moment; the whole world quiet in fact. Then,
the dance continued, odd, startling. I gasped –
he’d been hit.
His taut dance a discharge of life’s last energy.

He came to rest on his belly, face turned to the side.
He twitched once more as I approached, then stilled.
His body was silken with shimmering grey fur.
I saw the soft heart-shaped hips,
the curled question mark of tail, and the red eye,
where blood trickled.

No one was around.
Houses mutely watched from their yards.
I gazed over the scene at my feet,
action strokes on asphalt canvas.
Such spirit,
surrounds us always.
Vajrasattva’s blessing crosses my lips.
A daring, wild essence
forms a squirrel,
we can know choiceless joy.
What life!