Rifle asleep in its case under the seat,
he reads me through the windshield –
winter coat at dawn alone, calves

too big to bring him down – now,
squirrel towns busy cleaning burrows
after rain. Free in February to fill

the seams, he reinvents our deserted
homesteads as we move closer to more
comfort and speed – front door jam

his scent post, our rusty bucket, home
for mice. He lopes the other way,
laughs over his shoulder, going back.

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