photo: linda aschbrenner
by Linda Aschbrenner
The skating raccoon with the red scarf
hangs on our Christmas tree every year.
He glides on fumes of herring
when we’re all gathered.
I’ve watched him count us—
seeing who is new in the crowd,
who is gone. He spins and turns
when the cat bats at him,
pretending to be in the Olympics.
And in mid-January,
when I return him to a heap
of boxed ornaments,
he kicks me with a sharp blade
and asks what’s the guarantee
either of us will be back
~ first published in Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar