AND I THINK ABOUT ALL THAT I HAVE EATEN
by Virginia McIntyre
Nutmeg the puppy romps through
the forest tail kited high, ears flapping
like oversized mittens on a small child
in the abundance of spring with tissuey
green leaves on trees, wildflowers of purple
thistle, prickly poppy, Indian paint brush.
The cicadas counting time.
Black fringed lips reveal teeth
finely honed on found bones
of deer, elk and the occasional shoe.
Up from the brush a towhee takes flight
half-rising, falling, feigning a broken wing
as puppy and bird bound
by the chase, weave a numinous gauze
of earth and sky as they pass out of sight.
The puppy returns without bird
her tongue a dripping pink petal
her eyes rimmed with miniscule insects
feeding, her nose dusted with forest
bits. She swerves into the nest.
A blind slick hatchling opens its soft beak
in soundless protest as it slips down her throat.