confounds the twilight. Step-sidling, their auburn pelts shift
into shadows. Cat-like, they stalk mice. Shanks turn black.
Slit eyes catch last yellow sunlight and hold it steady.
They den down the block, under the neighbor’s tool shed. (stanza break)
Tomorrow they might turn into fancy stoles or tricksters.
They might turn into ragged coyotes and grin at gardeners.
They could be a skulk of thieves, crouched. Or malingerers.
Under mulberry shrubs they sense human presence. Pause.
Flicker in peripheral vision, softly scatter. But never vacate.
— Denise Low
Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09, is a national board member of the Associated Writing Programs and has awards from the NEH, Lannan, Ks. Arts Commission, and Ks. Center for the Book. She has taught at Haskell Indian Nations Univ., Univ. of Ks. and Univ. of Richmond. Her publications include 20 books of poetry and prose. Low grew up in Emporia and is of British, German, Delaware and Cherokee heritage. She is 5th generation Kansan.