The coon is in my mind,
a shadow revealed by the porch light,
turning in circles in the back yard,
licking each blade of grass.
Is this behavior normal?
Is the creature sick?
Does it know that another masked insomniac
seeks something here?
Will it accept food from my hand if
I step from these walls into the night?
The visitor disappears and I am
reluctant to cut the light.
Will there be a second coming, a revelation of the wild?
I, awake with the questions, keep watch through the window,
feeling so much like an orphaned child.
In the morning the walnut tree has grown a different nut.
The neighbor dog has treed the coon.
They sit on limb and root
heads down in saddened state,
neither happy with this stalemate.
I open the door to join the inaction.
I seek some distraction.
The dog finds its own, rushing off for its morning dig
in the compost heap.
My nocturnal companion sees its chance,
moves head first down the trunk and
scampers off to sleep.
(originally written March 13, 2006)