To follow all the pathways of your mind
Is travel fitting for Odysseus!
Your logic’s near-impossible to find
Once lost—like zany squirrels in trees, who fuss
And scuttle—stop—then, hurtling through the air,
Land in some bending poplar yards from where
They started. Bam! Limbs quiver; leaves fall, shorn
From stems—but where the shreds hang, roughed and torn,
One spies no squirrels. So one has to guess
Their whereabouts from shuffles in their wake
And squawks of other creatures whose egress
Attests to the manic gang beneath the shake
Of leaves. But why they ran up that one limb,
Then down, then up—or why they ran at all,
I can’t surmise—no more than follow you.
And why that one loud squirrel chased the slim
Dark-tailed one round in spirals to the tall
Far crooked branch that angles to the side—
And not a lower, plainer, easier route
Along the horizontal branch that beckons, wide,
And leads straight to its endpoint like a chute
Is mystery greater still.
For months, I’ve seen
You pitching on your own strange, jagged courses,
Seizing anew on snags where you’d just been
While importuning aid from nearby forces.
Look, oh look! There, up in breathless air,
A moving, shaking fit of frenzied leaves
That hints at things of portent passing there—
But only newborn sparrowlets believe!