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by Ann Howells

A green caterpillar measures the width
of her coffee cup. Anole and speckled gecko
pose on weathered brick; she serves as scarecrow

against marauding early birds. Winged
maple seeds litter dew-damp grass, too tall
for easy mowing. Lily clumps and roses

nod with sagacity. Cars pass on the way
to early mass, don't disturb the mockingbird
atop the chimney who's skipped

not a note in dusk to dawn concerto. Portulaca
flourishes between patio stones; blue jay
and cardinal visit the feeder. Last night

a neighbor's cat beheaded baby rabbits
born among yucca at the end of the yard.
Dogs down the street exchange barks

that soon become a roundelay. Early mass
lets out. Her little dog gobbles candy wrappers
snagged between fence slats.


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