Dead Animals

Dead Animals

Residue of mouse, fragments of guinea pigs—
minus the one who went missing
while we enjoyed our dinner,
carried off by hawk or owl, we never knew—

three hamsters’ wee, fragile bones,
several goldfish, decaying, one rabbit
with his repaired jaw, beloved rats (two),
the chinchilla who had a taste for raisin bread—

did the cinnamon do him in?,
I still fret ten years later.

Some future dig will uncover my childrens’ childhood
animal kingdom buried in the yard,

but not the more significant dogs or cat
whose ashes rest atop the bookcase in cedar chests.

Will they then discover the spray paint scene
beneath the floral mural my daughter painted
on the wall to quell my rage at what my son created?
My shame still surfaces recalling my indignation.

The stain on the driveway I can’t explain:
some artifact of argument or play,
a spill the porous pavement drank
in its thirsty former strength.

All that this cinder-blocked lot contains,
decomposing, like our marriage.

What are you looking for?