Stand in the street at dusk,
watch the mother emerge,
the ring-tailed rodent with the eyes of a thief.
Remain convinced she’s watching you.
Expect the scratching, the midnight hiss
as she returns from her stealthy sojourn
through the rotten tomato, orange peel, cold
pizza glory of your neighbor´s garbage cans.
Her long fingers roll her food
like a gambler worrying dice.
Each morning you find a trail
of pencil thin paw prints across
your porch, on the window sill.
What did she spy?
Ellen Birkett Morris is the author of Surrender (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry is forthcoming in Thin Air Magazine, and has appeared in journals including The Clackamas Literary Review, Juked, The Bark, Alimentum, Gastronomica and Inscape. Her poem “Origins” was nominated for the 2006 Pushcart Prize. Ellen is a recipient of a 2013 Al Smith Fellowship.