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For a neighbor

Our walls, also, house squirrels, raccoons, mice, whatever else no cat can reach, or dares. Don't they mind our noise - Beethoven, Bach, clatter of dishes, tea kettle whistle, hum and roar of machines? Heavy metal might drive them out along with the neighborhood. Have they become my familiars who know what a soft touch I am for melon seeds, fish bones, and crusts in the trash can whose lid is too dented to shut ... . Or they hang in as reminders: we're none of us safe. Only they seem secure and eternal between layers of dry wall and brick with their more predictable patterns of tumbles and squabbles and hungers and times to curl into furry circles of love and sleep, and their skill at gnawing anew secret entrances under the eaves.

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