Harlequeen, via Wikimedia Commons

I watched a Honda Accord hit a baby raccoon today.

Out of respect, I slowed down

And swerved out of the way

As it exhausted its final breaths.

As I passed,

I watched it twitch and

Move around in circles,

Its arms broken.

It was panicked, horrified

A flame thought eternal,

Loses its light.

I thought,

As I passed that beautiful

And small being–not much

Unlike myself–

That we are one and the same;

Our lives are meticulous

Fabrics that can be ripped apart

In an instant:

Life is precious.

I wrote this poem as I waited to pick someone up at their house, four minutes after witnessing the raccoon’s untimely death. Though hastily written and not necessarily cohesive, the piece is a short elegy for this young raccoon, whose attempt to cross a stroad in our car-dependent America resulted in its death.