Fall is hunting season for Pepper…

She knows that there’s one last crop of baby bunnies in the yard –
Half-grown babies –
Who softly hide in the bushes out front
And sometimes out back
So Pepper checks under each bush, front and back, when we go out.

She checks the woodpile just to make sure.

A baby bunny would be so –
Tender in the jaw –
Pepper dreams. She maybe remembers –
Having gotten a baby in her jaws that one time, when she was just a baby herself.

Fall is hunting season for me too.
I’m hunting for leaves that crunch on steps

For the alien seeds of fall on the Kouza dogwood.

I’m hunting for berries on the tidy hollies –

On the wildling privet –

On the ancient hydrangea trees planted by a grandmother years ago.

I’m hunting for the tiny weeds blooming purple in the yard –

I’m hunting for the leaves that handle maturity with grace –

And the leaves that say fuck it all, at least we’re in this together.

I’m hunting for the individualist –

I’m hunting for things I didn’t expect –

For something tender in the jaw?
Not so much.

A tail wagging in the bushes is enough.

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