PAD Challenge – Day 11

Is mashing up three prompts a good recipe for today’s poem? I’m not sure, but I tried it anyway. The NaPoWriMo prompt called for description of an object or place that leads to an unexpected ending. Poetic Asides said “write a defensive poem” and This Is Not A Literary Journal suggests a tribute of sorts to an animal.

Defending the Skunk


I’ve seen him, two early mornings in a row,

his low body pressed lower as he scrunches

into the hole under our white shed, the hole

we mentioned filling last fall, but never did.

It’s the sheen on the black fur that struck me,

he almost looked wet, and the bushiness

of his tail, the way it swayed as he waddled

across the grass, plumage on a prouder creature.

But why do I assume a lack of confidence?

He’s defeated many bigger beasts by TKO,

can use his teeth and claws, when he must,

and his very design bellows, in black and white:

don’t mess with me. I don’t want to do it, but I will.

It could spray the kids, my neighbour says,

you should call someone, trap it.

You don’t have to kill it, just take it to the woods.

My yard. My shed. My world, right?

I’m just lyin’ low here, folding laundry, drinking coffee.

Stinking up the joint with all this entitlement.


The animal connection, and the unexpected ending, made me think of “The Kindness“, a great poem by the skillful Jan Beatty.