//animals in yard
Whose Yard Is It?
I woke up quite late one recent spring night;
my bedroom was bathed in golden moonlight.
I heard something crashing into a bush,
and went to the window quite curious.
I saw a fawn stumble and disappear
into a phalanx of deer gathered near
the back of the yard under the plum tree,
where an old buck was pointing at booty.
To their left by the strawberry garden,
mockingbirds, bluebirds, towhees, and robins
perched in family groups amidst ripe berries
waiting for midnight to start their orgy.
The gophers that tunnel our yard and thrive
on roots of parsley, zucchini, and chives -
lolled on some springy lavender cotton,
a sweet-smelling herb they’ve never eaten.
I saw some slimy paths reflecting light
and knew the slugs and snails were, no doubt, right
under the low, thick branches of a pine
waiting for the sign telling them to dine.
As I watched out the window, mesmerized
by the army of creatures that comprised
attackers on good things in our garden,
I wished something had a chance to ripen.
by Elizabeth Southwood