Friday, October 23, 2009

Poetry Friday: In which Atticus discusses his recent encounter with a rabid skunk

Atticus recently sent me this email, summarizing his morning at work.  This is an exact reproduction of his note, other than the fact that I'm presenting it in free verse form.

Subject: Can't You Smell That Smell?

Teach long enough and you will see everything.
This morning there was a rabid skunk
outside the door
just outside my room.
It was walking around in a tight circle,
occasionally falling over,
and just, in general,
stumbling along in a daze.
Eventually, the police came up
and shot the deranged rodent.
It had already filled the halls
with that peculiar rural piquance
that is so utterly charming.
The entire school, thereby, is redolent
with a certain bucolic "freshness."
Upon being shot, the animal
delivered a benedictory blast,
and we shall,
have to live with the memory
of the beast
for some time to come.

Ah, wilderness.

I think it sounds a little like Billy Collins, don't you? Is it any wonder I love Billy? He reminds me of my husband.

Poetry Friday can be found today at Big A little a.


Kelly said...

Hi Karen, I've lurked here for some time and had to comment. This was hillarious and so very Collins-esque.

I just want you to know that I really enjoy your blog and am currently loving your book.


Melanie B said...

It does sound like Billy Collins. How lucky you are indeed! :)

Reminds me of the time a 40 pound raccoon crawled into the classroom walls and died there over spring break one year when I was in high school. It took more than a week for them to pinpoint the source of the stench-- I have never smelled anything like it. In the meantime we had English and Latin classes outside or in the library.

Liz said...

Reminds me of the time my husband had a close encounter with a skunk in our back yard. We were living in a mobile home at the time and the stench permeated the entire building. The whole congregation was made aware of it when we went to church the next day because the stench had permeated our jackets, etc. It took many washings for it to finally dissipate. As for my husband, well he bathed in a bathtub of diluted Campbell's tomato soup since we didn't have any tomato juice for him to use at 10 o'clock at night. I can report that Campbell's tomato soup appears to be about as effective as tomato juice in removing the smell. Since he hates tomato soup I think he thought it was about the best use of the product he could imagine, although I suspect that soaking in it rather added insult to injury.

Gardenia said...


jama said...

Perfect and definitely Collinesque. Glad I'm reading the poem instead of smelling it :D. Wait, I CAN smell it . . . All hail Atticus!

Roz said...

I wish my update e-mails were as eloquent. They're much more likely to read something like this:

"Hi, honey. Aren't you glad you don't have to work where a skunk has died?"

Theresa said...

Love it!!!

Mary Lee said...

Fabulous! (The poem, not the experience of living with the smell, I'm sure!!!!)

Hooray for found poetry!!!!

laurasalas said...

Karen, Thanks for sharing this. Always nice to start a Monday with a chuckle. I'm with Roz. My emails are so much more mundane:>)

Karen E. said...

Thanks, everyone, and I enjoyed your contributions re. other dead animals. :)