By Matt Steel
02 April 2021

Mother raccoon and kit
in tall grass
she stands, appraises me
with a coal-bright eye
they run

Not from the gathering storm
acres of indigo brooding over marsh
banded blanket spread
thick across sky’s underbelly
basso cracks rolling down

Trembling mould and moss
beneath two whispering soles
a beat, a bang
too close
they run

Not from this din
but from my sauntering figure
armed only with curiosity
and affection for their loping
synchronized gait

The measure of our division:
a wandering man
a parent himself
provoking more fear
than a thunderclap