Do You See?
>he was this goo-green or perhaps it was my imagination because I saw him glide over a gherkin-green lawn with that uncanny shadow cast overhead from an eager cloud not so eager to participate in our conversation
I said hello to my furry friend who was not in a hurry and closed in while he examined my not so woodchuck-like face, which was neither-bird-nor-ant – not ants that crawled very close on the belly of the earth, close enough for him to sniff them whenever there was a shifting sunlight that took all of us from place to place in search of food fuel shelter or things like warm hands or soothing sights – my face
not bird-like because I had stopped shaping my mouth into a beak since long and cooed lesser than usual for I was distraught that winter could still creep in soon like army ants on their strong bellies and shove me indoors
only, I’d stay inside my hay-baled walls, he residing beneath the floorboards of my snap-together pre-fabricated housing unit. Truthfully enough, we had already spent some winters together, I baking my potatoes in a smelly electric oven cautiously dripping drops of olive oil on their curled up skins while he (possibly) enjoying the aroma and munching on seeds he stole the previous spring from my fancy plastic lantern porch bird feeder
no, that’s fine, I tell him I’m not upset because the seeds are taken by you dear woodchuck and are not in the bellies of fickle-minded birds who might have considered hunting grasshoppers by the creek. Of course, the grasshoppers were all extinct because some grass got pulled out by mistake with the predator weed this last summer when school kids invaded the creek
the woodchuck smooths his coat counts his furs while listening to me, nodding and smiling like an otter that eyes flighty fish in front of him, sleepy sunlight shining like rare fish in this hemisphere where we were still allowed to run about for it really was spring
if you wish, do come and sun your back on my porch I tell him because I too am interested in counting his pollen-like furs or the number of times his tail flaps. No I’m fine he says, living beneath your wooden floor during my off hours, he assures me, although your invitation is tempting… he thinks, then
see, right now I’m coiling inside your half-open and unused cauldron of a barbecue grill, rubbing my back on charcoal remnants and eyeing an interfering chickadee that got off the group in order to put a tab on me. I’m showing her my gooey back – oh now you may think it is goo-like with all that charcoal soot – and waiting for her to know I prefer my own company
well, I am so happy, I say. You and I to that effect can now roll on the ground and sniff the grass and tell the world we’re talking, talking, in between I’m throwing sunflower seeds in my mouth as well as towards you. We are talking woodchuck, although I don’t speak in bird trill or have antennas like communicative restless ants. I do understand though that all we love is a pizza-hot sun and blowing away of the dandelion flakes that get inside our nostrils making us both sneezy, and now we’re talking … Yes, we are talking, we are, says the woodchuck, turns his snoozy belly up to the warmth dripping like syrup from the afternoon sky, waiting for me to throw him the sunflowers seeds and roll over to sleep with the words while I keep throwing words towards him on the lawn … one two three.