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.



Back again
the yellow tailed hawk
atop the folded patio umbrella
as if carved from wood
the sovereign of the totem
my hand on the door
almost turning
almost stepping onto
his claimed territory
both terrible and wonderful
he watched the long grass
and I watched him.
The morning aggressor.