Our Wild Life
Our existence lately has been pretty tame,
not much excitement to be found.
Sometimes we see a rabbit on our lawn
munching grass, what we call “having a nosh.”
This gladdens us in our gentle quietude
and we declare it to be a “bunniful” day.
Every bunny needs some bunny,
we like to say.
On other days, a fox
cuts through the back yard on its way
to a gap in the neighbor’s fence
and then on to the next street over.
We name it Mr. Fox, or alternatively,
we announce the Vixen is about,
hunting for prey—like our rabbit,
or the many chipmunks that abound
in our neighborhood. They all seem to
hunker down in their dens when the fox
My wife, a Shakespeare lover,
names each chipmunk Puck. “Here, Puck,”
she calls, when tossing nuts out the door.
We envision vast quantities of cashews
and Brazil nuts under our lawn, the various
Pucks hoarding them, counting them, and
sleeping on them through the winter.
We set up a bird feeder outside the back
window, complete with baffler to defeat
the squirrels, who still managed to find
enough spillage to keep them happy.
Then one morning we noticed a fierce
hawk perched on the top of the feeder,
looking right at us. Later, we discovered
a clump of feathers on the ground below,
and realized we had lured one birdie
to its death. So we gave up putting out
any more seed. Of course, the neighbors
all around us had their feeders too,
so it really made no difference,
but we still didn’t want to be complicit.
John S. Eustis is a retired librarian living in Virginia with his wife, after a long, quiet federal career. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Pirene’s Fountain, Slipstream, Tar River Poetry, and other places.