soft noise in the branches overhead
an owl drooling gibbets of luckless mouse
big eyes constricting in the flashlight beam
short circuit -- or the battery going
one mouse eye turning back a vacant stare
is a small red light that fades
darkness maps the scene in memory
that starlight horizon through the trees
might be the road
small bones cracking
gravel crunching underfoot
a life of ceaseless gnawing -- then surprise
resolve to give up superstition
over one shoulder -- flapping wings

Copyright 10/95 Robert N. Erman

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