Sandhill Cranes Across the Fence

Standing in water
just beyond a barbed wire fence,
four sandhill cranes
stood on straw thin legs.
Their long, pointed beaks
glared in the sharp morning light.

One lifted its snake neck.
The golden eyes stared
across the fence where I stood.
The crane’s silver body was as stiff
as an electrical pole.

We stood watching each other
waiting for the other to move.
A green Dodge drove by. Frail
dandelion seeds fluttered between
us. Those cirrus clouds close to earth broke
our gaze. The crimson crowned bird
lowered its head and continued feeding.
I watched those sandhill cranes
before heading to my car:
business as usual.

Fat Body Faker

While traversing an ill marked trail
A fat body faker stood in the way.
With his tail raised high and his eyes glaring
That signature sound of sand against plastic
Signaled his presence. Closer inspection
Reveled the truth hidden by that false rattle tail:
No rattlesnake, but still just as deadly.

A few pictures for souvenirs aid jokes and
Retellings of how we walked past slithering death.
“He came at us!”
“He was waiting there when we
Doubled back!” Wide eyed, slack jawed
Strangers and family members nod, agree,
Even shake their heads at the encounter
With the American Copperhead.