Magazine February 24, 2020, Issue

To the Dead Opossum, as I Take Her Baby to Heckhaven

(David Mercado/Reuters)

Poor mother, slaughtered by our human error,
Ideal exhibit in your roadway grave,
More grievous for your orphaned daughter’s terror,
Not understanding I have come to save.
Beneath you clinging still — untold, unsure —
I shall not leave her, destined like some tortoise
Or shattered armadillo. Premature,
It seems, this late phase of your rigor mortis;
Unfair, how far your flesh has come to harden.
No second Eve am I. Trust her to me.
The first time, you were murdered in the Garden
Of Eden. Commend me, by your memory.
I feel you watching from that Final Wild.
I hear you: “Prosper, She-Who-Freed-My-Child.”

Jennifer Reeser is the author of six books. Her most recent poetry collection is Indigenous (Able Muse Press, 2018).

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