poet Harlan Simantel

Harlan Simantel

Wild Creatures

When I was haying
with a crew in summertime
I saw a red fox
streaking across a pale ochre field,
its plump white-tipped tail flowing behind.
The only fox I ever saw
in the wild,
the memory remains vivid,
an exciting, heart-thumping surprise.

I've seen other creatures:
blacktail deer in Oregon forests,
pheasant erupting out of pasture grass,
startling me with the sudden noise,
a bobcat loping easily across a logging road,
coyote pups playing in a California desert,
a fearless badger close up near its den,
a family of big, furry curious racoons
lit up by a trip light on our neighbor's deck,
a hawk alighting on our backyard fence.

Sightings of wild creatures are always exhilarating,
the curtain of nature drawn slightly open
to reveal a world we usually miss
in our artificial city lives.

Poem Submitted: Saturday, November 24, 2007
Poem Edited: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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