photo by Cody Pope, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Opossum_1.jpg

Opossum (a found poem) by Sharon Rauenzahn

He looks just like an opossum, startled by headlights,
His pink nose and beady brown eyes
Crowned with reflective silvering hair.
You can imagine him heading out to a party,
Lips smacking as he wanders in search of a mate.
When an opossum plays possum,
When a teenager drinks too much beer,
His lips are drawn back, the teeth are bared,
Saliva forms around the mouth.
There’s a foul smell we won’t discuss.
His eyes close or half-close, involuntarily.
Once he passes out, the stiff form
Can be prodded and turned over, or even carried away.
The animal, or the college freshman,
Will typically regain consciousness
After a period of a few minutes up to four hours,
A process that begins with a slight
Twitching of the ears, and ends
With a Supreme Court nomination.


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