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Winter/Spring 2020

All Raccoons

(after “All Bears” by Caroline Fraser)

Donna Isaac

Are mischievous. Eyes alight                          but they return, in black masks,
in the night, scooping seeds                           raiders of the night,

or upsetting garbage cans,                              bounding across the lawn,
ripping bags with delicate,                               skipping into the woods

dangerous claws,                                            like Russian hats with feet.
climbing the deck rail,                                     These bandits do not

sniffing for corn cobs                                      wash their food as myth
the neighbor leaves for deer.                          would have it, but

At night, two chubby ones                              have been seen near the pond,
fight or try to mate.                                         eyes like laser pointers, surveying

Territorial beasts, they                                    the neighborhood that used to
squall and cry like                                           be theirs but is now

babies or burbling cats.                                   taken over by humans
They will run away if,                                       who leave their debris

in your rumpled nightgown,                             in plain sight so that
you awake with their screams                         they think it's a smorgasbord

in your head and run to the light                      just for them. Once a man
switch, exposing their battle,                           named Buck Buckman,

and beat on the screen door,                          set a trap for them but caught
yelling, “Shoo, shoo!!”                                     a coyote instead.


[Check out Donna Isaac's back porch interview]