by Joseph Baldwin

I saw a squirrel launch himself
from a perch ten feet above where the trunk
of my elm forks to form a V,
and leap across to the other branch,
landing only a foot or so below
his departure point.
Inside such a quaint fur ball,
what suppleness, lithe grace!
How he gathered, flickered across
the space, then landed, again a ball,
and then slimmed out again
to scuttle along a limb!

Could this be only a search
for food, such a ballet?

I must believe he did it
for joy alone.

His flight, for flight it was,
was like words without music,
the words making me hear
a music of my own;
similarly, he wore, for a moment,
splendid and indescribable
wings — of my imagining.

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