This is a poem I wrote when living in a place called Paradise Canyon on the Santa Ynez river. I included it in The Gunslinger in Technicolor, my 2020 collection of poems on Americana, both urban and natural.
Four feet snuck into the porch,
squeezing though the cat door.
After unweaving the chicken wire cover,
they pawed in the compost bucket, coating
themselves with grease. As they
left, shuffling below motion
detector lights, the feet printed the porch
with invisible tracks. Splashed with cold water
the next morning, the grease in the tracks
congealed to white, showing a clear raccoon trail.
Licking out eggshells, chomping on
melon rinds and rancid bacon, eating
information, the coon decodes the challenges
of chicken wire and hinges. Learning
human secrets and how to slip past the guards,
he leaves the crusty marks of a fat belly
slung low, gorged on rich rotten garbage
to brag of his genius.
Posted for the dVerse Open Link Night hosted by Lillian