Green tangle under deck


born morning

peripheral — did you?
slipping movement
downridge: brown, lean
gliding silent
toward the house

fall equinox: poke stems
sliming, crooked
hooked apple-bare twigs
greenvine tangle

furrowed, not cats
coyote, no: smaller

nothing matches

rising from the kitchen table
on a surge of instinct
out the back door
and around:

she emerges
from under the deck
ears cupped toward my approach

dark amber
sun-broken dapples
curious but
stiff with unknown

she has only seen one spring,
one summer: hunger is yet
a gray-clad stranger

I stomp: go!
unlearned lynx
run (loping, unhurried)

hunt woodrats, voles
on the ridge up-past there

we won’t meet again
this year, but

the next



Late in September of 2019 we were surprised at breakfast with a visit from a juvenile bobcat.

Normally these creatures are very shy and seldom seen. So while it was exciting to have an encounter out on the deck with her, my brain was still in stop-action animation mode, operating in single words and brief phrases.

I went in and wrote down my initial impressions so that I could go back and expand on the encounter later, but when I looked at it again, I decided to leave it in that early-morning feel…

This poem was originally published by Trouvaille Review in February of 2021.

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