As a child, I watched a squirrel crawl along an electrical line, elegant, delicate, like some high wire act, yet gone terribly wrong when it slipped and fell before my eyes.
A motorist passed, hit it. The squirrel screeched human sounds, jumped up on back feet, front paws stretched out, stumbled left, then right.
“It’s a dead end.” Mother’s whispered words lifted with a breeze.
“It’s the West End.” My father leaned away from her.
I held my breath, rooted for the squirrel until the very end, hoped that the car missed and, somehow, the creature might’ve a chance to limp home to recover.
But the squirrel was, life was, inextricably lost.
“Same thing,” mother’s quiet voice floated off with her gaze.
I think of that eye bulging from the squirrel’s body, trying to escape its own death, watching me through the back window of an old Chevy wagon.
Copyright 2016 – Noreen Lace/West End