Mark Wunderlich

Raccoon in a Trap
March 9, 2014 Wunderlich Mark

Raccoon in a Trap


The kidskin of his clever paws

charcoal black and clawed like a witch


scratch at the turf.  Hanging his head

he hunches like a bear and in his fur turns


a boggy funk, a whiff like the hairy belly

of a man.  I carry the cage to the edge of the woods


and he barks, bares a grin of sharps,

points a flinty nose, moist and smart


to read his future on the air.  I believe

this is the thief who stole the nest of chicks,


tore the vent from a hen and ate her

in the company of her peers—a  husbandman’s


springtime menace, the glowing eyes

in the night.  In the orchard, morning clouds


disperse.  The sun returns for another run

pulled by the beasts of myth


before I put the muzzle of the gun through the wires

and fill his warm head with lead.

Mark Wunderlich’s most recent book of poems is The Earth Avails, which was published by Graywolf in 2014, and which received the Rilke Prize. He is the director of the Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in NewYork’s Hudson Valley.