For the Squirrels:

A Fable, by Karin Gottshall

There was a girl who set out with a tiger
on a long journey. She’d never before left her home

but he came to her with his startled eyes
and she left the dishes drying on the wooden rack,

the linens folded in the closet, left her flowered
dresses and the complicated song of fear

to travel with him among rocks, in meadows of wild iris.
They walked through the deep pastures and slept

in the wind, on soft grasses. They walked
and walked, and in the end that’s all they had —

they weren’t magical beings, they couldn’t know
each others’ hearts. Through the loops and arteries

of their clean bodies slid their secret sorrows,
and in no place in this world could they lay them down —

they loved the sight too much: the snow
and clear streams, the leaping birds.

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