The needle artist changes, now and then,
from inking shoulders and haunches
and text on ribs,
to cotton floss on fabric,
achieves an accidental harmony with oil and ceramic
at the destination.

If there are accidents.

Seven altogether,
but they tuck beside behind each other,
under the hornbeam
testing the english ivy for fodder,
both of the single mothers, as it were,
with the twins and their mother.

Absent from our local herd today, only the buck,
who’s never far but rarely in frame with the rest,
most of whom probably are his progeny.

They are too unafraid of us,
their primary predator,
because we strew cracked corn on the grass,
their primary benefactors,
though it is intended for the five blue-black crows

who do not trust us
because they have not forgotten my bb gun
from 60 years ago
and they do not forgive.

But they’ll eat the corn.

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