Like a Greek worry stone
Or a polished rosary bead gliding through
The fingers of a faithful old woman --
It looked so safe, so nourishing, so comforting -
It looked flawless.
It even had the contour of a human breast.
What possible evil could issue from a smooth,
Swollen with nourishment for a loved
But I was only 5.
How could I know this was a classic deception?
That this beautiful, smooth, plump nut would kill -
Would kill the tiny squirrel my father rescued from the wood.
We had made him well with our love and our food when
The woods were barren.
My little pet ate my offering with such relish. But then -
Even the orphan squirrel didnít know the difference
Between a buckeye and a chestnut.
© 1990 Olga S. Hardman