by James D. Autio
The dogs are out hunting in packs
of gnashing toothsnap and throaty snarl
that leaves a swirl of meatbreath in the air.
The wild team drives through wooded snow
while a tiny man, out for a late night stroll
on flats made of matchsticks and spun fiber,
is quite nearly overcome. Tail-high
jackrabbit consumed with urgency, the man
scuttles over mountains of deep blue drift.
But the dogs have caught his scent and he seems
to be a tasty trifle, not more than a swallow,
yet worthy of a scooping jaw.
At oak’s foot, the tiny man abandons
his cute strung rackets and starts a climb
between ripped ripples of gnarled treebark.
As with anything worth doing
the climb is arduous, and though
a dangerous situation is left behind,
others may be looming. The little man climbs
thinking, Well this night has sure gone to shit,
while up high on a branch, an owl
with legs crossed in quiet repose
watches the drama unfold.