Since my last skunk poem blew up the net
I thought I’d hit you with another true tale
concerning our brother or sister, the skunk.
I was driving along as I often am
Just trying to get back to the mattress
when a minor flurry of motion
caused me to pull over and curse.
In a small grassy area between streets
was a large skunk shaking its head
but I couldn’t quite make out a face
because the head was stuck in a
glass jar. The pathos of the sight
sent waves of nausea from my
gut to my mind. Speeding cars
whizzed by on either side:
creatures on their way to
ball games, churches, grocery
stores, illicit trysts, and family
gatherings. I approached the
skunk and saw that he’d never
get that jar off his head by
himself. I also saw the long claws
attached to his front paws.
I had to help, but I didn’t want to
end up in a death camp called a
hospital, so I strained my brain
a minute, ran to the car, pulled out
the work gloves and a crutch.
I lightly placed the padded end
of the crutch over the front paws
then pulled the jar with both hands.
It came off. The skunk lifted his snout
in the grey air and took some
breaths. He looked okay. I brought some
cat food from the car and placed it
it near him. He sat there
on the grass and looked at it.
I hopped in the car and headed back
to the mattress. At home I kept thinking
about him. I called a rehabber who said I
should have syringe fed him honey just
in case. I was too tired and soul sick to move.
The next day I drove back to the
scene. The skunk was gone along with
most of the food. The old mattress felt a
little better after that.
— Fyodor Bukowski