Sally’s Summer Job

In the truck the first day

Russ laughed at the twist of her face

When he told her,

“Just count ‘em now.  Soon,

you’ll know ‘em.”

In the cabin that night she puked.


Wind smacked her face, it burned a little

From the cold as

Tarmac blurred by, each stone

A line

Connecting with the next by motion and speed.

“I see one!”

The lines drew slow apart,

Got rougher until they were pebbles again.


“Beaver, skunk, possum, squirrel!”

He could tell

Just scraps, and he’d know and yell

Its name

“Look girl, it’s big

and brown,

it’s head, a curve behind the ears.

No doubt a coon.”


Leather with hair,

Stretched out in a strange pattern

Not even bones to tell, just

Colored skin and bristles


“No, girl.



A week.

Her hair streaked back

From wind again,

Eyes glued to the blacktop trail.

“Russ look it’s big!”

The road rolled by.

“A badger No a beaver!

Wait, its tail is small…

A coon!”


He smiled?

Only a twitch of his bearded lips

But nonetheless

Approval for the naming

Of a dead animal.


                  by Natasha Escalada-Westland



                                       Copyright © 2010 Natasha Escalada-Westland


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