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.