I cough into the night
& a deer snorts in alarm.
I am hungry & dangerous;
small bones & bits of muscle
get stuck in my throat.
My feline love of comfort
may dull my instincts, but
I still read fear as a form of praise.
And I want to tell the deer:
I am the animal who rid
these hills of your original killers.
Shall we resent each other’s part
in the conquest? We share
almost the pact between
a pastoralist & his herd.
The tamed woods are as easy
to walk through as a pasture now;
few thickets remain where a big cat
could lie in ambush.
But a summer night still teems
with things that rasp & tick,
other things that flash at eye-level
& in between, the dark milk of stars.


This was an exercise using all the words in the latest prompt from Big Tent Poetry.

(Update) Other responses to the prompt are here

4 Replies to “Exchange”

  1. I immediately thought that you had a reintroduced panther in your hollow. But no. It’s only me.

    Glad you took the words.

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