Breadcrumb #195


I’d left three small plates of food scraps
on the ground by my deck, and brown, 
crusted-over bits still clung to the rims.

The food eaten, perhaps, by that family of raccoons-- 
burly beggars, stealers of garbage, makers
of messes in driveways.

Two mammoth crows strutted about from
bird feeder to bird bath, their blue-black plumage
shining like a businessman’s just-polished dress shoes. 

Had they eaten the food scraps, I wondered. 
But what scraps were they, anyway, I suddenly thought.  
And where had the plates gone?  

Just at the point I had conjured up a family of opossums, 
squeaking and grunting as their pink, obscene forms
dug into bits of week-old black beans and chicken cacciatore, 

next to the garden hose that lay there like gigantic tangled
green spaghetti, it occurred to me that I was dreaming.
There were no three small plates. 

They must be some neural transplant
of the three little, green-rimmed dishes my sister
uses to feed her three cats, 

or used to do, before two of them
disappeared in the night and
were never seen again.  

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