If They Should Meet When I’m Not Here

By: - Dec 01, 2021

For eighteen months we came to learn

Together as a pair

That each was safe and simply learning

How we’d come to fare.


Pumpkin seeds and peanuts roasted

Seemed a decent meal.

I’d leave them out and wait to see

Just how the squirrel’d deal.


As time went on and we became

That pair I’d hoped we would,

She’d come to me but not quite feel

That all was well and good.


I’d wait so still and quiet,

Peanuts on the deck.

She’d take the long way ‘round

And sneak up on the peck.


And then one day the nuts by hand

So still upon the deck.

With fits and stops she snuck around

I didn’t need to beck.


The hand became my covered lap

I sat upon the seat.

She climbed and sat and took her fill

And held my gaze so sweet.


For eighteen months we’ve met most days

For early morning tea.

I know she comes for peanuts

And certainly not for me.


And yet I know I love her

As strange as that may sound.

We’ve gathered daily rain or shine,

Or snow she barely bounds.


So you can guess my upset when

In garden full and green

I rubbed my eyes in horror at

The creature I had seen.


I’d heard their presence was around

But I did not expect

To see a bobcat passing through

The yards that all connect.


My squirrel’d come and gone that day

And that was great relief.

But bobcats dine on squirrels I’d heard

Lest that was my belief.


If they should meet when I’m not here

I fear a fateful ending.

If they should meet when I’m not here.

The squirrel has no fending.


The squirrel doesn’t try to be 

A squirrel in its time.

The squirrel simply is a squirrel

That’s its paradigm.


The bobcat too a creature fine

That walks the bobcat path.

And if it crosses with my love

I fear its hungry wrath.


I saw it just the once

But that was quite enough.

I know my squirrel isn’t made

Of needed sterner stuff.


If they should meet when I’m not here

And she is slow at all

Her end will come so swiftly

And she will deathly fall.


She’s not the only one I see

Squirrels do abound

She’s not the only one to choose

There’s plenty more around.


Yet I know quite well that

Nature doesn’t care.

If bobcats want to eat

A squirrel’s tasty fare.


Absent predators land and air

A squirrel’s life can last.

Fifteen years is not too long

So long as they move fast.


My hope is that my love will be

As nimble as can be

And stay with me for all that time,

For peanuts and for me.


Patience over months had worked

A friendship had begun.

Simple needs for food and friends

And we had found our one.


If I should go before my love

And take my final breath,

Who will care for her each day

If I fall prey to bobcat death?


A silly thought and not worth much

As I think about it now.

Nature doesn’t need the help

Or us to tell it how.


It is the way of things that

We shall have our turn.

And when that turn is taken

The rest is no concern.


But if that bobcat death should come

To her and not to me

I will lose a friend with whom

I share my morning tea.


If they should meet when I’m not here

And bobcat death comes fast

I’ll find the patience and the nuts

To help me move on past.

Another creature to befriend

And make the peanuts last.


A bobcat death awaits us all

The squirrel’s not alone.

We share a path as time allows

And then we have our own.


If they should meet when I’m not here

I will not likely know

But if I drink my tea alone

My mornings will be low.


If they should meet when I’m not here

And I must be alone

I’ll lift my cup and offer thanks

For my squirrel to have known.