Gopher

You stuck to the tires—an insoluble sort of glue,
the thing that would bring both my kids to tears.
But I couldn’t stop here, and your steady palpitation,
lessening with every mile, measured the lead
weight of my foot, the bleary-eyed sweep along the
mountain’s edge as I brought you higher than you
had ever been. Your burrows were far below us,
their winding passages, the grooves in a brain struggling
to keep pace with predators, suddenly oblivious.
Your loamy webs brought you unexpected joys:
gardens lush with leaves, the waxen roots of trees you ate
and aged, and the clumsy traps you sidestepped until tonight:
when you crossed the dark river and never saw me,
a metal undertaker bearing a black suit in just your size.

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