I walk along the Dunderhook trail
and get confronted by a squirrel
who looks at me eyeball to eyeball
and shouts, “I know you— my student,
you were the best student in my class
at Iowa on hermeneutic exegesis.”
What are you doing being a squirrel?
“You don’t have a choice, I’m afraid.
It’s a rat race in the park, running up
and down trees hunting for food,
almost anything will do when you’re
hungry all the time, and nobody’s shares.
It’s a dog eat dog world,
and speaking of dogs, they’re the worst—
one crunch of your skull and you’re dead meat.
Before the restaurants began recycling,
you could always find something tasty to eat.
Recycling now makes it almost impossible to survive.”
After he scampers off, I wonder why he returned
as a squirrel in his next life?
Then I remember our conversation after class,
having a beer together at Miller’s Ale House.
When I asked him about his hoped-for reincarnation,
he replied, “I just want to run a whore-house,
and screen every applicant for their sensual expertise.”