all the bright red

how it can help make a place feel like home,
running into a friend on the sidewalk
and in this case it is the small backpack basket
that gives annie away
all this sun
in the 70some degree air
and my arms bare
as we pedal, pedal and pedal
the smashed dark shell and all the bright red
meaty ripped organ muscle body
of a red eared slider turtle
on the road
the impossible brightness of its blood
not even dried running
on the blacktop towards the ditch
how somehow this seems more brutal
than what happens to the possums, the raccoons, the deer
and i circle back around to it,
grab the plastic bag off my bike
and scoop its sunwarmed smashed self up
and carry it off into the dried gold/brown
of last year’s grasses that ring the pondy wetland
where so many frogs sing and sing
my ojibwe teacher said it is the right thing to do –
to move the bodies off the road
if you can stand it
jennifer says

a cat i call out pedaling
along highway J about the caramel colored creature
sitting a distance away
in the growing green grass and then later
a black and white one pouncing
some distance away on the right side of the road
near a propane tank

your first customer jennifer says at the sink
about the all smokey-gray ring-tailed cat
lurking about outside the porch
to whom i bring
in a metal bowl
today’s conflicted purchase
of kibble