Academic journal article The Midwest Quarterly

Feeding the Possum

Academic journal article The Midwest Quarterly

Feeding the Possum

Article excerpt

In some native American Indian cultures the opossum's appearance signals good luck. --Bright's North American Mammals

   I see him again tonight,
   straggling in from the back fence:
   the transient, ghost-faced possum
   at work under the quarter moon.
   His eyes are luminous coins,
   his nose a hook for a waft
   of fresh garbage.

   I slice into manageable chunks
   the canker-ridden cantaloupe
   I didn't eat, set the slices on the steps.

   Though packed with hunger
   he comes cautiously, a black arrowhead
   of fur riding his back.

   He looks left and right, then--
   oblivious to my ghost
   lurking in sliding glass--
   dips in. He vacuums up
   everything--spongy pulp,
   seeds, rind ...

   And when he finally waddles off
   into the furtive dark,
   I see my overripe gift
   has vanished.
   I will find a parking spot,
   a hundred dollar bill will gust against
   the worry lines in my forehead,
   and stick. Cindy in Billing
   will invite me for a naked lunch
   and my boss will find us in such
   an impossible posture
   I'll never have to work again.

Jeff Worley has published one book of poems, The Only Time There Is' (Mid-List Press, 1995), two chapbooks, Natural Selections, with Lance Olsen (Still Waters Press, 1993) and The Other Heart (Devil's Millhopper, 1991). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.