Shadow

Across clearings, an eye—Ted Hughes, “The Thought-Fox”

Mushrooms on the trail indicate
you haven’t roved this prairie of late;

soft-sponged and pink, they’re sweet
as the berries ripped in your teeth.

“Foxes are opportunistic feeders,”
notes a sign—I never mind

the goldfinches who arc my breeze
and swap big bluestem for trees

patiently trilling each leaf, those
last full masts of September.

Zig-zagged grass ripples from a felled
trunk, sunk in its thatch to rot.

Past piles of branches spoiled
to mash, a flaxen hay

wherein I catch your gleam—
spun gold you are a long-bodied

beam, slinking past imagined
houses down to the stream.

Hidden to your scruff in the gathering
dusk, I hold and release your stare,

that of a silver-eyed murderer
who smells breath in the air.

Sandra Marchetti is the author of Confluence, her debut full-length poetry collection. Eating Dog Press also published an illustrated edition of her essays and poetry, A Detail in the Landscape, and her first volume, The Canopy, won Midwest Writing Center’s Mississippi Valley Chapbook Contest. Her work appears in The Journal, Subtropics, Mid-American Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, South Dakota Review, Phoebe, Southwest Review, and elsewhere.

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