Beside my steps, a squirrel is dying. A slow death, I fear will last for days. The flies hover and I keep watch from the chair on my porch. I decide that I cannot spare him dignity and descend the steps with my keys jangling. He hobbles down the split stone and I follow him, a soft tambourine march to the end.
I go inside then and try to shake the guilt of not wanting to see. Of not wanting to remember the other deaths I have bore witness to. An hour passes. I go again to the porch and look over the rail. The squirrel is back. The flies hover. I cannot escape it this time.