Memory Number One

He was 4 or 3,
at the edge of memory,
When he saw a dead possum
in the road.

For 80 years it visited
his thoughts;
Nothing before —
not a mother’s loving gaze,
not a father’s good cheer,

Just a tail carelessly touching
a bloodied nose,
And two button eyes, staring
at god, at him,
at nothing.

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