A journal of art + literature engaging with nature, culture, the environment & ecology

Odocoileus virginianus

Nicole Zelniker, USA

She is carefully crafted grace,

long legs ready to lope in retreat

when a misstep or hot breath

makes her ears twitch.


I have no pretense,

just too-loud steps on a gravel road

disturbing the meal.

For once, I am the predator.


She makes eye contact,

stares me down warily until I pass.

The other two don’t miss a beat,

the grass too good to waste on worry.


She waits for me to reach the corner

before she can feast with the others,

back legs still set carefully,

just in case instinct fails her.

Nicole Zelniker is an editorial researcher at The Conversation US. A creative writer as well as a journalist, she has had several pieces of poetry and short stories published. Zelniker is also the author of Mixed, a non-fiction book about race and mixed-race families. Check out the rest of her work at nicolezelniker.wordpress.com.

Kupu-Kupu (Malay)

Two Poems by Lee Maracle