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  • (Where These Wild Things Are)

    It’s dusk, that time. When.


    A rabbit screams. Have you ever heard a rabbit scream?
    That sundering of sound?

    The near copse shudders.
    Something brushes against your left ear.
    The stilled air tastes of bracken.

    This is it.

    A goshawk torpedoes in, cartoon-like,
    snatches a cardinal from the air, and a single red feather see-saws down to your feet, talon-ed scarlet zig-zagging away across the sky.

    Songbirds turn shrill and restless.


    An owl floats overhead, unscrolling shadows in its wake.
    You look up into its vast mirror eye.
    Schools of swallows swim the sky.
    A raven walks the lawn.
    Robins stutter warnings.

    You think about heading in.
    To dinner.

    But this is no child’s dream.

    Living the wild is not for the tender-hearted. The tender-footed. The tender-feathered.
    It’s not throwing open the windows and doors to the heart.
    Standing out in the rain.
    And listening.
    Giving yourself up to it.
    And dancing.

    All day, all year it bumps up into you. A snow white ermine follows a mouse through a crack into the living room and shows you its teeth. A possum takes a nap in the wheelbarrow, a skunk moves in under the porch, a bat whirls around the rafters, robins ring the house with their nests. If you stood still enough, they’d probably nest in your hair. Turkeys scratch out the garden seeds; a bear upends the birdfeeder, deer eat the tender ends of the plum trees. You all lulled by their nearness. By your nearness. Almost.

    The thrill of life and the threat of violence are simple and relentless.
    Someone is soon to be someone’s dinner.

    Dark descends.
    You think the peepers’ song will still your pounding heart. So you wait it out, for you know that soon, soon
    The coyotes' crescendo
    And fall

    That stilled moment

    Will rend the moonless night
    And chase you in

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