Goodbye Graceful Squirrel


(click on photos to zoom)

Scampering through Italian pine

Orange white and brown with bushy tail

Jump to acacia with friend near

Leaving chewed pine cones on the ground

Peering at me through my window

Both musing frozen eye to eye

Daily spirited romp and dance


Chattering agile graceful friend

Acrobatic leaps shuffling leaves

Bringing joy to thrilled observer

Watching careful balancing skill

Diving down from upper branch perch

Racing to back lawn or downhill

Leaves Golden Retriever behind

And charging brown Lab bewildered


Yesterday entered danger zone

Bird feeders stand and canines glide

Fast down hillside chasing thrown balls

Past gray stone fence to lawn below

Returning with saliva scent

To the next target day or night

Scamperer will tip bird feeder

Seed spill gives gorgeous thief a meal

If dogs appear brave prancer bolts

Up Maple with chattering tease

Until the balancer was caught

By Golden's instinctual thrust

Despite odds comparing prowess

Shimmering dancer’s prance ended

Brash Golden Retriever streaking

Muscular Lab in hot pursuit

Tails wag expecting approval

For their quick innate reaction

Guarding turf from brazen scoundrel

Defying chance of encounter

Slight touch of gymnastic sprinter

Heard whimper outside my abode

Opened door to discern its source

Saw slender one in Golden’s mouth

With sharp death-grip on Retriever’s

Golden jaw where blood was gushing

Yelled in shock and grabbed white towel

She dropped sprinter on stairway

Glimpsed backyard friend for the last time

His splendor was the most stunning

Only inches from me this time

Instead of ever moving blur

Testing all senses to find him

In his perpetual motion

Now just slow breathing and beauty

Spread on cement with Retrievers

Playfully panting over him

When playfellow drew his last breath

Gathered him gently and placed him

In bushes hoping he’d survive

Took Golden in pressing towel

To bloody mouth and came outside

Found Brown Lab with limp dancer

No chattering or moving now

Glance of nature’s final ending

Its harshness and brutal wisdom

Balancing the population

No signal of his companions

Only memories of  brilliance

I will miss my wandering friend

Hope his comrades will return and

Display their natural wonders

The brisk chattering outdoor show

Added peanut and bird feeders

Fountain, garden, and many trees

Soon new friends wander to our home

Even a skunk and opossum

Now trained retrievers still chase balls

Barking toward strangers but smiling

At squirrels, rabbits, Scrub Jays, Hawks,

Finches, Mocking and Humming Birds

In our wildlife sanctuary

Facing sunset, hills and bird bath

Nature’s peaceful ecosystem

Joins us in the joy of being


Related Images:

This entry was posted in Non-Fiction, poem, Poems, Writings and tagged , , , , by Daniel C. Lavery. Bookmark the permalink.

About Daniel C. Lavery

Dan’s writing shows his transformation from a child to an athlete and a Duke pre-ministerial student where he began to question ancient and arbitrary dogma. He graduated from Annapolis, navigated a Navy jet, and a ship to Vietnam, fell in love, turned peace activist and a civil rights lawyer for Cesar Chavez's UFW. His memoir, "All the Difference," describes the experiences, some humorous and others deadly, that changed his consciousness from a pawn to an advocate crusading for justice against some of the most powerful forces in America.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box