You have forty-nine days between death and rebirth if you're a Buddhist. Even the smallest soul could swim the English Channel in that time or climb, like a ten-month-old child, every step of the Washington Monument to travel across, up, down, over or through --you won't know till you get there which to do. He laid on me for a few seconds said Roscoe Black, who lived to tell about his skirmish with a grizzly bear in Glacier Park. He laid on me not doing anything. I could feel his heart beating against my heart. Never mind lie and lay, the whole world confuses them. For Roscoe Black you might say all forty-nine days flew by. I was raised on the Old Testament. In it God talks to Moses, Noah, Samuel, and they answer. People confer with angels. Certain animals converse with humans. It's a simple world, full of crossovers. Heaven's an airy Somewhere, and God has a nasty temper when provoked, but if there's a Hell, little is made of it. No longtailed Devil, no eternal fire, and no choosing what to come back as. When the grizzly bear appears, he lies/lays down on atheist and zealot. In the pitch-dark each of us waits for him in Glacier Park.
Maxine Kumin - 1925-2014
Gassing the woodchucks didn't turn out right. The knockout bomb from the Feed and Grain Exchange was featured as merciful, quick at the bone and the case we had against them was airtight, both exits shoehorned shut with puddingstone, but they had a sub-sub-basement out of range. Next morning they turned up again, no worse for the cyanide than we for our cigarettes and state-store Scotch, all of us up to scratch. They brought down the marigolds as a matter of course and then took over the vegetable patch nipping the broccoli shoots, beheading the carrots. The food from our mouths, I said, righteously thrilling to the feel of the .22, the bullets' neat noses. I, a lapsed pacifist fallen from grace puffed with Darwinian pieties for killing, now drew a bead on the little woodchuck's face. He died down in the everbearing roses. Ten minutes later I dropped the mother. She flipflopped in the air and fell, her needle teeth still hooked in a leaf of early Swiss chard. Another baby next. O one-two-three the murderer inside me rose up hard, the hawkeye killer came on stage forthwith. There's one chuck left. Old wily fellow, he keeps me cocked and ready day after day after day. All night I hunt his humped-up form. I dream I sight along the barrel in my sleep. If only they'd all consented to die unseen gassed underground the quiet Nazi way.