In spite of myself, my resentment that they are rats with tails, that they lounge in my chaises longues and massage themselves in the rims of my flowered pots, I have been admiring squirrels.
Such looseness; such fearless sense of play. One — followed by her playmate — in motion leaps to her sure death from the roof but catches a frail branch, hangs belly-up as the branch dip low with weight until she rights herself, scrapes the bark with her nails — and darts.
Lilies of the valley have dropped their sweet white flowers, confetti is scattered around the hawthorn tree, the Dionysian rally of spring is exhausting —
but there are the squirrels, defying reason.
Once they’re hanging from a thread, how do they will themselves back?
Do these masters of risk appraise a car tire and decide— uh uh, not this one, over and over?
And don’t these tricksters know these are dark times? That destructive forces are overwhelming us?
And yet they play, play, play. Before our tired eyes, they play, as if their very survival depended on it. If I banished them from the garden, who would remind us to play?