Remember That?

by Bluey Maverick

Remember that dayIMG_0380
we found that grey squirrel
bloated, belly-up,
floating in the water tank?
Fourteen engorged wood ticks sucking the
living daylights out of its sticky, matted flesh?
And you turned it over with a muddy stick
to make sure you’d counted them all
and mistook its bulging eyes for two more?

Remember then, how I was scared to water the calves by myself
for the next two years?
And the nightmares?
How those miniscule beasts
crept into our minds just as we were drifting off
and lodged themselves in the most uninhabitable places⎯
tucked into a smelly underarm
or nestled under the cover of our underwear
until, one day,
when we forgot to check our nether regions,
mother found us face down
floating like dead squirrels
at the top of the tub?

Remember that?


by Bluey Maverick


is standing at the end of a long lane
between two very wide ditches
full of spider webs
glistening in the morning dew,

watching your older brother
heave gravel at an unsuspecting,
eight-legged target⎯
its circumference larger than the size
of your five-year-old fist.

You feel bad for them,
but won’t question him
because you know
that you could easily
be the next pebble hurtling toward
those webs,
entangled in that sticky mesh,
with hundreds of
hairy black legs
crawling up and down
your gutless spine.

“I almost hit one,” he says,
and you laugh like you think it’s
the most entertaining news you’ve heard
since you stood here yesterday
waiting for the goshdarn bus.

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