Flying Squirrels Take A Wrong Turn


The secret of chimneys
is to keep them clear
of birds, bats and squirrels.
One evening, alone
in this this new house,
before the towering pine
came down, a shadow,
the very real movement
of something behind
the glass doors
of the unlit fireplace.
In the beam of my light,
six black beaded eyes
staring back at me.
Novices, full of mischief,
with membranous wings
drooping at their sides,
suede bodies dusted with flecks
of moon, and underneath,
newborn white,
frothy as thistle-down.
Their dainty pink feet,
grayed with the soil
of burnings, thumbing
every inch of sooty surface,
roiling in the smuts,
annoying old logs
in the grimy grate,
more curious than Sherlock
Holmes looking for a stubborn clue.
Not knowing what else to do,
I left them to their antics.
With the light of the next
day, they had vanished,
up the chimney
like proverbial smoke.

By Joyce Joslin Lorenson
Big-eyed Eastern flying squirrel peeking out of a birdhouse


Joyce Joslin Lorenson lives in Rhode Island, grew up on a dairy farm and records the daily happenings in nature around her rural home. She has been published in several print and electronic journals.

By Eric Krouse

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