If you can't find it here your search will end
in an alley rife with half-filled bottles
and more than a promise of cynical rats.
Although lucky enough to have got here
as opposed to average despondency.
Some know when to quit but not most of us.
My neighborhood spawns a cacophony
of small dogs acknowledging each other,
encouraged by our constant cries of “hush.”
I had no idea we still had raccoons
till I drove down the Parkway, justly named
for its luxury of feral corpses.
We have done our time and they've been with us
long enough to know better if they cared
or knew what they saw from across the street.
- M. A. Schaffner has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Magma, Tulane Review, Gargoyle, and The Delinquent. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.