HE'S HEAVIER THAN I EXPECTED

When I came home from my walk this morning,

I saw a dead possum

in the middle of the street

in front of my house.

I walked up to him, stopped, and looked down

at his furry balls, claws that grasped,

his round body, and the gray-white layer of fur,

downy and close to his body,

the longer darker strands of fur

and the even longer white strands

that poked through the layer of gray-white.

I reached down to touch his tail.

It was cold and snake-like.

I pulled my hand back

and saw the scrape under his long snout,

the blood still a bright red.

I reached my hand down again,

held onto his tail with my thumb and two fingers

and pulled him across the street,

away from my house.

He was heavy. Heavier than I expected

now that the life had been knocked out of him.

When I reached the other side,

I pulled him into the gutter, let go of his tail,

then sat on the curb next to him

and watched the cars go by.