2020 YPN/PNN Poetry Competition 2nd Prize. Squirrel by Finn Farnsworth


By Finn Farnsworth

Swift and agile
Sleek and prehensile –
Skittering across bark
And as dexterously over brick –
The arch survivor –
A thief in woodland
A bandit of suburbia,
Beautiful peanut pirate.
You skim the rigging of
Rotary washing lines
And old telephone wires:
Your sail-tail
A Spinnaker of balance –
A back garden acrobat.
Grey down of fur covers
The machine of sinew
Tendons tight
Like bowstrings
Wired to shoot across
Fence top,
Gate post, sign post,
Post box – post haste.
The highwayman of the high street,
Terror of the terraces
Ply your profession –
Livelihood in the manmade Landscape.
A narrow escape
With a clutch of grapes
Hijacked from garden vine
Jam-packed with sweet juice.
You make a getaway
Into ornamental spruce
Where you have your hideaway.