Deciding at nineteen
she’d been a virgin long enough
but sensible more than sensual
she scheduled her visit
out of town with the doctor
not currently engaged
she admitted (needlessly)
but anticipating the coming semester
and determined to be ready
to shed her jeans before midterms
she hoped for a doctoral candidate
with dissertation bits and books of poetry
scattered on some old Persian rug
though she’d probably settle
for a nearsighted and
anxious undergrad in statistics
with corn chips in the bed sheets.


I missed her
by inches
braking hard skidding left.
My first thought
but the glimpse of tail
as she fled to the woods –
A girl for sure
like a cousin
who escaped my tires year ago.
I stopped that day
as she washed her mouse
in a puddle by the curb.
not breathless with
near death
as I was with
near killing.
Today my record stays intact
not having murdered
with my car.


Not quite
I’m reminded
by another cousin.
Who picks the ant from my kitchen table
A boy I think.
He wandered down from my
vase of peonies.


Kathy scoops him up
and opening the door
sets him gently
on the warm patio stone.