Does and fawns swan with impunity
from lawn to lawn, foxes with their kits
saunter down alleys, no longer afraid of us
and our over-bred dogs. Pumas appear
in California suburbs, and coyotes howl
in the canyons of New York.
If we appear, they trot a few feet, then
turn to stare. Some refuse to leave a juicy
bag of garbage and dare us to take back
what once was ours. Impatient with our
meager leavings, will they begin to feed
on helpless homeless, sleeping on cardboard?
Meanwhile, deep in unnamed forests, new
plagues mutate from beast to man, a rear
guard action to revenge the lost habitats.
Will they evolve in time to prevent us
from destroying Eden, as we throw pennies
at dying species or jail them in our zoos?
~ Janet Jenkins-Stotts
Janet Jenkins-Stotts’ poems have been published in Kansas Voices, Konza Journal, River City Voices, Dash, Passager, and the Swedish underground journal, Devote. She lives in Topeka, KS. with her husband and their min-pin, Romeo.
Matthew David Manning holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and Pittsburg State University. His poetry has appeared various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review. He recently became a father and has been enjoying his transition into high school education at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, KS.
Editor’s Note: Recently, an animal has been rummaging around on my deck. It isn’t on the ground floor, and there are no stairs, so I assume that it climbs one of the vertical wooden beams to get up to it. I know the woods behind our house is full of animals, but most of them, like the one going through my stuff, I never actually get to see. Janet’s poem makes me feel like there’s a hidden world all around that nobody seems to be keeping tabs on. Maybe someone should?