Monday, 12 December 2016

A poem by Luke Schamer

You Must Squirrel

A lone squirrel sat on the roof’s edge
and nipped at fall leaves, trying
to contain a leaf with only
one front leg.

Maybe she was deformed, or lost
the other front leg in an accident,
maybe a switchblade left open
in the woods she called home.

Suddenly she was not alone
but instead encircled by other
squirrels, just like her.

Except the others had all
four legs.

The other squirrels obviously
came to assist Lost Leg’s feeding.

But rapidly the family of squirrels
—most likely Lost Leg’s own—
bit harshly at her body and neck
as Lost Leg opened her jaw
in pain as she attempted
to clamber away.

At school, she sucks in her
stomach that presses too hard
against a soft heart,
wishing to be invisible.

Luke Schamer teaches English at a juvenile detention center in Dayton, Ohio. He has had writing published by Star 82 Review, Matchbook Literary Magazine, Eunoia Review, and Maudlin House, among others. In addition, Luke is a produced screenwriter for three films: Drop of a Cane (comedy, 2017), Before Flame (drama, 2016) and Fire, Rain, Wind, and Snow: A Story of the Prairie (documentary, 2016).

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