Ballade of Urban Wildlife

We creep across your lawn,
too sly to catch your ear,
until the moon is gone
and, like the moon, adhere
to primal patterns. We’re
phantoms, making our way
toward the spoils. It’s clear
your city’s our buffet.

You flip when crows at dawn
nibble your corn. You fear
us when you happen on
a badger or a deer.
You rave when ravens veer
from nest to French-fried prey.
You loathe us, yet all year
your city’s our buffet.

When famished bears are drawn
to lidless trash cans, steer
their heavy-footed brawn
up to your well-lit sphere,
giving rise to sheer
mass panic, they obey
strong drives at a frontier:
your city’s our buffet.

Though trucks or cars may smear
our blood around, we’ll stay
inevitably near.
Your city’s our buffet!

Martin Elster

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Martin Elster would be pleased to hear them.