I Saw a Possum Die Last Night

I saw a possum die last night.
The blank unblinking halogen eyes of my car saw it first.
Lying there, on its asphalt altar.
The sacrificial indifference of a New Year's Eve driver.
I rushed from my cushioned metal box to its side.
"OH GOD, LET IT DIE!" I screamed.
The dark, cave sky yawned but didn`t answer.
I felt so heavy and tight.
Grief wrapped itself around me like a saran wrapped straight-jacket.
Suddenly everything was about me.
I too became the victim of the automated predator.
The possum lifted its head and looked at me.
Our eyes, our eyes both knew.
Oh GOD. I wasn't enough.
I was helpless too.
Help, Oh God help it.
Innocence.....Innocence.....Innocence...INNOCENCE.
All it was.
All I was not.
Blood dripped like a leaky faucet from its ears.
The red sticky moisture ran from its mouth.
Ran as if escaping from the shock and horror.
I turned to my silent, watching husband.
He stood there, gripped by own his ineptness.
"Get a shovel from one of the houses" I screamed.
DRIP.......DRIP.......DRIP.......DRIP.......DRIP......DRIP......DRIP!!!
My hysterical command hung in the air waiting for his return.
DRIP.....DRIP.....DRIP.....DRIP....DRIP....DRIP...DRIP...DRIP..DRIP..DRIP!!!!
Finally the shovel.
"Get the blanket from my car! HURRY!!!"
DRIP.. DRIP.. DRIP.. DRIP.. DRIP, DRIP, DRIP, DRIP ,DRIP ,DRIP ,DRIP ,DRIP!!!
Placing the blanket beside the possum 
My husband gently moved it to its deathbed.
Together we lifted it to the waiting cradle of the curb.

The possum died. 
IT died.
DIED AND ALL I COULD DO WAS WATCH!
GOD!!!!!!
Death, I try to run from you and to gather in my arms, all the voiceless creatures you stalk.
Last night I lost!
I saw a possum die last night.

Copyright ? 2000 by Linda Beane. All Rights Reserved
May be used in unchanged form by avowed Animal Rightists if accompanied by this copyright message.

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