The green anole lizards along, puffs out
the dewlap under its neck, inches across
the weathered fence rail, postures
in the shade of his tiny domain.
The pileated woodpecker sports
his red workhat, pries off long slivers of wood in search
of carpenter ants buried in the hollow-topped cypress—
home, kitchen, and drum.
The red-shouldered hawk cruises
the swamp understory, scouts
perches and preens, then performs its sky-dance—
an artist’s flipbook in flight.
The great egret, white in a field
of lettuce greens, edges forward in the shallows,
neck first, zen-master of patience
keen-eyed hunter as it stalks its prey.
The nursery log, fallen cypress
opens light in the canopy—
insects, mosses, and ferns.
I set out hungry and fill my plate.
Gail Goepfert, USA