Atop the cucumber trellis,
a red-tailed hawk, hunching
under his uniform’s epaulettes,
reconnoitered the vegetable garden,
the cottontail grazing outside the fence
frozen in July’s humid heat.
Nearby, a plump predator,
sporting a tuxedo and as richly fed
as a nobleman, conveyed a chipmunk
onto the screened back porch,
dropped its panting body on the planks,
plopped down to rest before the feast.
Scanning but not seeing, the hawk
floated away into the trees,
the rabbit invisible in its stillness.
The cat, too tired to dispatch his catch,
sighed into a nap in the sun,
the patient chipmunk motionless.
Thawed, the rabbit — ravenous as the hawk —
began to munch clover flowers
while the chipmunk — bone-weary as the cat —
quietly skittered away.
Daun Daemon’s fiction has appeared in Flock, Dead Mule School, Literally Stories, and Delmarva Review among others, and she has published poems in Third Wednesday, Typehouse Literary Review, Remington Review, Deep South Magazine, Into the Void, Peeking Cat Literary, Amsterdam Quarterly, and other journals. Daemon is currently at work on a memoir in poetry as well as short stories inspired by memories of her mother’s home beauty shop. She teaches scientific communication at North Carolina State University and lives in Raleigh with her husband and three cats.