On the Raccoons’ Sudden Lapse of Judgment

by Norman Ball

We count eight carcasses. The raccoons rule
the shoulder, no great prize. We’re used to deer
whose stationary impulse plays the fool
to headlights. Coons are different. Did all fear
depart them at the crossing? In revolt
the principle of caution often snaps.
I once observed an old one twist a bolt
atop one of those two-door jawless traps.
His fingers had the prescience of a hand,
a signature advance from paw and hoof.
The nut dropped to the floor. The contraband
was snatched away. We lack all crossway proof
for bids of furtive passage that succeed.
The road excels at showing those who bleed.

Norman Ball’s essays, poetry, music and videos pop up like dandelions both on and/or about radio (Prairie Home Companion), film (Bright Lights Film Journal), economics (iTulip.com), music (neilyoung.com) and sheer farce (Light). His videos can be seen at www.youtube.com/desertrun.