Nimrod Stands By

One of these days
Rod will throw this broken Adirondack chair away.
Just drive it to the dump
where it will be shopped off into some new use:
a chair again maybe.
Or maybe only the honest junk
it has worn to be.

But for now he thinks he can’t
because all that remains of it to his possessive eye
is the shotgunned gap in the chairback
that he blasted
when he only grazed the red squirrel.

He didn’t much want to hit the squirrel anyway.
Much. Only scare him
from this neighborhood of nests
full of songbird eggs and baby birds.

The squirrel jumped to the cabin roof,
nursed his stinging leg
and laughed at Rod
for turning this chair that neither wanted
into a shrine to the squirrel’s memory
and Rod’s embarrassment.

A chair he can’t sit in anymore—
won’t, nor get rid of
for its sinister image of inept wanton humanity.

An American abashed,
Rod will stand back
and Rod will stand by
to practice his failing aim
and savor the palate of his rage.

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.