Ode to a Dead Raccoon Left to Rot on the Sidewalk at the Corner of Church and Yonge for Fourteen Hours at the Height of Summer

You went too soon
little bandit of nighttime splendour
you
with your tiny clever paws
and your fundamental understanding
of your place in the vastness of the universe

When you cast off your mortal shell
and left it at Church and Yonge
so you could fly free as a philosophical disembodied space entity
or whatever
the people of Toronto paid tribute
with flowers and candles
and even a card

You were worth it
small swift arbiter of universal grief and madness
and though we are kind of sorry we mocked you
we also believe it was not mockery
but a celebration of your rich and giddy life
plus maybe a bit of sarcasm
directed at the city workers who left you to rot on the sidewalk for fourteen hours

Sleep well
minuscule champion of garbage-can-lid negotiation
and let the words of the city worker who finally picked you up
stand forever as your epitaph:
“Seriously, guys, it’s a dead raccoon.”

Yes
wise city worker
yes
and so the world
turns on
into morning

***

#DeadRaccoonTO

Original story

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