I’ll Never Be Cantor Rabinowitz

Our dog finds a newborn squirrel.
Brings it to me held in his mouth
undamaged, dewy, breathing.
Logan gently relents,
drops the wet youngling
in my hand and trots off
as if he’s done something
to be proud of
and eats some Georgia grass.
I find the furry nest
bunched into leaffall.
Nervous scurrying nearby,
so I plant the kid
in the pungey pocket
and take slow long steps
back up our yard.
I call for Logan
and give him a treat inside.
By the back window
I observe the rescue.
Mother squirrel approaches,
sniffs about, inspecting.
I believe there may be a question
if she’ll take her baby back.
Is it even hers?
Is that a her?
What have I done to this poor animal?
What have I done to interfere in nature’s ways?

The mother takes the child.
All is well.
I pour a beer.

Later, a clip of Laurence Olivier
in The Jazz Singer
tearing his coat.

I jab a note
to my son:
Hey, Papo.
Did you try that Chinese Cuban place?
I write:
Nature’s consequence is beautiful and cruel.
I write:
I am your father for all time.
I write:
Please don’t ever fear telling me anything.
I write:
That you were once afraid is natural.
I write:
I am forever grateful that what is natural
can sometimes be overcome.
I write:
Your path is yours to pave. I’ll always give you
whatever you need.
I write:
Here are my hands, my heart, my every first start
to the last.

I erase all of that up to the Chinese Cuban place
because I really want to know.

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash