Thirteen Ways of Being Looked At By A Possum

May 1, 2008

In honor of the return of www.everettemaddox.org, the poem this little outpost was named for.

THIRTEEN WAYS OF BEING LOOKED AT BY A POSSUM

1
I awake, three in the morning, sweating
from a dream of possums.
I put my head under the fuzzy swamp of cover.
At the foot of darkness two small eyes glitter.

2
Rain falls all day: I remain indoors.
For comfort I take down a favorite volume.
Inside, something slimy, like a tail, wraps around
my finger.

3
Hear the bells clang at the fire station:
not hoses, but the damp noses of possums issue
forth.

4
Passing the graveyard at night
I wish the dead would remain dead,
but there is something queer and shaggy about these
mounds.

5
From the grey pouch of a cloud
the moon hangs by its tail.

6
At the cafeteria they tell me they are out of
persimmons.
I am furious. Who is that grey delegation
munching yellow fruit at the long table?

7
I reach deep into my warm pocket
to scratch my balls; but I find, instead,
another pocket there; and inside, a small possum.

8
My friend’s false teeth clatter in the darkness
on a glass shelf;
around them a ghostly possum forms.

9
At an art gallery the portraits seem to threaten me;
tails droop down out of the frames.

10
I screech to a stop at the red light.
Three o’clock, school’s out:
eight or ten juvenile possums fill the crosswalk.

11
Midnight at Pasquale’s. I lift my fork,
and the hard tails looped there
look curiously unlike spaghetti.

12
When I go to the closet to hang my shirt on the rack,
I have to persuade several possums to move over.

13
Drunk, crawling across a country road tonight,
I hear a shriek, look up, and am paralyzed
by fierce headlights and a grinning grill.
I am as good as gone!

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3 Responses to “Thirteen Ways of Being Looked At By A Possum”

  1. leealan Says:

    finally found something i like, thanks for bothering !


  2. I loved this, as a person can only have strange relations with possums. It’s odd, their way of invading pockets, perches, and stoops.


  3. […] in possum heaven Everette Maddox will have good company. Drink will be taken and stories will be told as only Colleen can, and the […]


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