"Raccoon Wisdom" - Eugene C. Bianchi
He startled me ten feet away
walking up from the flooding river,
a beautiful raccoon who stopped
to meet my eyes, mammal to mammal.
We stayed suspended without fear
like two old dwellers of one land
with a nod of acceptance, not breaking
the silence with threat of violence.
I marveled at this moment as he slowly
climbed the hill to his next desire,
maybe food or cover from the cold
or a quiet place to settle for death,
and return to the mystery source of all.
I went down to my banal task of cloaking
a lawn mower against impending rain,
enjoying his stark face in black and white,
bringing civility in stillness.