Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil
Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Weather Reporter Extraordinaire
Halfway between the dawn and sunset of winter,
it’s the high noon of the season.
Will old sol wear sunglasses today
and keep his rays of warmth and wisdom to himself,
or take Punxsy Phil by surprise?

Phil ascends with bleary eyes
from watching “Groundhog Day” over or over
again last night in his public library lair,
and looks as puzzled and ruffled haired as Bill Murray
as he pokes his head out of the tree stump, wondering,
“What did I get myself in the middle of?”

He stands on hind legs and raises his paws
you’d think he were Santa Claus the way the cameras flash,
causing artificial shadows of himself
to loom in every direction,
like a dozen enormous cut-outs of T-rex, vexed.

Halfway between Christmas and Easter,
between the solstice and equinox,
between a native ritual and a European tradition,
between a squirrel and a woodchuck,
Phil’s stuck,
here, with all these people.
He keeps looking over the crowd
for Andie MacDowell, but only faces strangers.

Then Phil sees the sun peeking out from behind
a billowy cumulus cloud,
and hears the sudden roar of the crowd,
because everyone finally notices his real shadow
is what’s on the ground,
and think he’s afraid when he looks where they’re looking,
then exits the other way back down the tree stump hole.

But he’s not scared at all,
just plain tired of all the fuss
and from staying up so groundhog, doggone late,
when any other rodent worth his fur
would know to hibernate.

~ by Cynthia Gallaher

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