Squirrel Haven

tall bare trees against a gray, winter sky

A ladder to tiny feet,
an escape to the heavens,
a haven on high,
away from canine intrusions,
a place of nooks, crannies,
secret bolt holes and
hidden stores.
Hiding.
A treehouse, a mansion,
another dimension
betwixt earth and sky,
where small critters
can shiver out of icy winds,
escape high above snowdrifts and
listen for the quickening.
Waiting.
A trickle of ice melt,
the scritch-scritch of green shoots,
the drumming surge of resin,
drip, drops of shiny amber,
the burgeoning of buds,
a whisper of unfolding forsythia,
a symphony heard only by tiny ears.
Spring.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Poetry Friday Badge

Note: This poem is my contribution for Poetry Friday, this week hosted thanks to The Miss Rumphius Effect. This photo was taken at Massachusetts Audubon site, Belmont Habitat. You can see gray sky, but not pelting rain. My son observed me taking photos from under my umbrella. He alleged that in filming Singing in the Rain, they had to dye the rain white because it was invisible otherwise. I haven’t confirmed this, but I immediately pictured Gene Kelly completely white after filming, like an angel. Or a plaster saint. I hope you’re warm and dry or at least have a good umbrella. We have our first snow day here this morning. Happy children bounding and bouncing! Warmly, Brenda

46 thoughts on “Squirrel Haven

  1. It seems to me the squirrels have been more visible this winter. Maybe it’s because of the warm weather. Whatever the reason, I love your poem, with all its “nooks and crannies.” Hope “the scritch-scritch of green shoots” isn’t too far off!

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  2. About a month ago, I had to cut down a giant tree in my backyard, because it was moving the foundation of the garage. The whole time I was cutting the tree down, I kept imagining all the creatures who would not have a home. I was super sad and kept trying to write poetry about it, but never captured it this perfectly. I love “A treehouse, a mansion/another dimension/betwixt earth and sky.” Thanks for sharing this today.

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    • I’m always sad when trees fall or have to be cut down. I had to take out some diseased hemlocks, but I planted a blue spruce in their place. I planted a weeping cherry, an ornamental pear and a trunkful of lilacs and butterfly bushes. I still have squirrels and now I get butterflies, too. I’m glad you feel I’ve captured it well. My thanks for taking the time to tell me your story. Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

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  3. Having never wintered in the northern hemisphere I haven’t experienced the birth of spring in those latitudes. Your poem really made me feel what it must be like. Your photo is terrific too.

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  4. Love love love your poem. Since we have a LOT of squirrels here, I enjoyed each and every word and image. Yes, those tiny feet and tiny ears! I constantly marvel at their dexterity, tackling vertical surfaces with such ease. Daredevils!

    Once had a squirrel named Samuel come daily to the kitchen door for peanuts. I eventually trained him to eat from my hand. Once, instead of a peanut, I had a bit of peanut butter in my palm. His little rough tongue stretched out for a taste, and then he coughed a tiny squirrel cough. I could almost hear him grumbling: “What? Are you trying to choke me?” Never forget it.

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    • Jama, your words are spring to my ears. I love your story of your fuzzy friend. I only hope he didn’t make your Paddingtons jealous! I love to watch the gyrations of squirrels, except when they scare the songbirds aways from the nyger seed. 🙂

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  5. An amazing photo, complete with interesting back story, sets the stage for your snapshot of squirrel living. One thing that struck me about the looming trunks(?)/ branches(?) is that the 2 largest ones appear to look like twin arms with cupped hands offering up or protecting their furry resident-guests! God bless you for your photo-poetry prowess! Totally professional!

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