In these woods, I call out. Announce my
presence. Make noises with cudgel
and pack. Kick leaves and branches until
they crackle. Thread my way through
padded track along the bank until yawning
maw of sycamore confirms I’ve reached what
I’ve come to call your summer camp. I’ve ceased
to worry about coon and possum, the beady eye
of blacksnake or mottled copperhead after
that day I yelled myself hoarse while felling trees
telling you that you should go. Told you about
private property and listened to the rifling shots
that later proved to be your teeth on dripping
vertebrae. I gave you a head start then, after
realizing you had a fresh kill while I was only
armed with a belching chainsaw. Tuna
sandwich in hand, I went downstream to
the gravel bar only to find your leftover carnage.
Brought back the skull with rack intact, and
tracked you back to the mother den, where I feel
you watched me with full belly and sleepy eyes