,yes, but how? The creature’s neck,
bent tailward as is possible
only in death, grips the top of the fence
like a coat hanger. The exposed throat
is simply gone; blackness of brain
visible through the opening
if you tilt your head just right.
What is left of the body
hangs in the yard, a bony pelt
crisped by sun.
I am not sure
even what it was—rabbit, squirrel, or coyote
pup—nor how it came to rest
atop the splintered cedar plank
between the eucalyptus and prickly pear.
Did kids find it in the hills and place it there
to frighten the slim, blonde gardener in khaki shorts
who summoned me with a shriek?
“Get rid of it, please.”
I nod, but pause, searching the ground beyond the fence
for sneaker prints and broken twigs.
“I wonder how it got here.”
Below, at the base of the embankment,
my wife shields her eyes from the glare of the sun,
searching for hints in the verdure above me.
“There?” she asks, pointing
at a horizontal branch where a red-tailed hawk
I look up. No, too far over.
But higher, against the blue,
reddish limb angles from yard to field,
crossing the exact spot from which I lift
remnants of the wild feast
with a stick.
Previous Contents Next
Copyright © 2008 by Bradley Steffens
Home | Critical Praise | Sample Chapters | Bookstore | About the Author
Curriculum Vitae | Poetry | Poem of the Week | Song Lyrics | Blog | Contact