THE LIST OF US

In my father’s wallet
we found
one small sheet
torn from a notebook
folded and re-folded
sliced through in the crease
and in my father’s careful hand
were all his children’s names
and birthdates
and our spouses’ names
and their birthdates
and the grandchildren
a
nd their spouses
and in shakier letters
the great-grandchildren.
The conspiracy of years
s
chemes against us
but my father
refused to forget
and carried with him
the names and numbers of his immortality.

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WILDLIFE

We spend too much on birdseed.
Before we lived here,
before our big house became master of these woods,
the great-grandparents of our current tree neighbors
found something to eat
or went south for the winter.
But now these freeloaders,
these young whippersnappers of the modern generation,
wait by our four feeders.
They prefer the sunflower,
though the suet receives a fair share of attention.
And on top of that,
they have invited all their woodland buddies to the feast,
the turkeys, the deer, the skunks, a fox or two,
but especially the squirrels.
We buy and fill and buy again,
aware that expectations are high
in an upscale community.