After we watch the video—
a possum pushing a skunk into the pond—
all three of us laugh until we snort.
Jack and Colleen stage reenactments.
I’m the skunk and you’re the possum.
No I’m the possum and you’re the skunk.
The couch is the bank of the pond.
The rug is the water.
The war between siblings ticks up a notch.
In the kitchen, knives pierce a wooden block,
ready at a moment’s notice.
I rush the knives to the basement—
hide all the weapons—swords
and cap guns, wooden arrows,
Nerf guns in every caliber—
Day-Glo orange tipped, green and navy,
pens, broken pencils, the stapler—
even cardboard is a threat.
There’s kicking and scratching,
snarling and weeping.
The skunk’s eye pits glow like swamp gas
the possum bares all fifty teeth
and rises up on its hind legs.
I crouch in the reeds by the pond.
Dale Champlin, an Oregon poet with an MFA in fine art, has poems in The Opiate, Timberline Review, Pif, and CatheXis. Her collections include: The Barbie Diaries, Callie Comes of Age, and Isadora. Medusa is her most recent as yet unpublished collection.