How to Train Your Squirrel by April Salzano

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How to Train Your Squirrel

to eat from a bowl is not an easy task.

You should choose a color other

than blaze orange, a material besides

plastic. Cajun almonds and salted sesame sticks

placed near the patio door seem to cause

aggression toward what used to be

his playmates in the yard. He chases away

all critters except the Nut Hatch who is able

to fly stealth operations and grab peanuts

without landing completely. Do not wait

until the blinking creature is scratching

at the glass to offer a treat. This reinforces

demanding behavior and does not promote

sharing with friends. Ignore the urge to touch

his patchy grey coat or to open the door

wide enough to permit his entrance.

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Find recent work and a bio of Salzano here. Additional poems on WIZ are available here.

 

Photo by A.J. Huffman. Used with permission.

A Dozing Squirrel by April Salzano

squirrel2

A Dozing Squirrel

full of almonds and sesame sticks, warms

his belly on wood of deck. Spread

like a loaf of homemade bread, his eyes

become commas even as his chest expands,

contracts like a blood pressure pump.

Front paws hang over edge as if more cat

than woodland wanderer, tail curled over his back,

temporarily not twitching in anxiety. I stand

at the window, wait to make sure no injury

is preventing his chaotic, convulsive foraging.

I turn away, distracted. When I return,

seconds later, he is gone.

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photo3 April Salzano has previously published on small creatures on WIZ. Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons. She recently finished her first collection of poetry, for which she is seeking a publisher. Her work has appeared in journals such as Poetry Salzburg, Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, Convergence, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Montucky Review, Visceral Uterus and Salome, Poetry Quarterly, and is forthcoming in Writing Tomorrow and Rattle. She also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.

 

Photo by the author.