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by John Poch


Clenched on a branch between
two inch-long mesquite thorns,
the ice-blue legs of the Red-eyed vireo
thrill the starving coyote
who just ate an old wasp nest.
He creeps, slow as a barn shadow,
through grass with sharp hope.
He should hunt at night.
All this through the scope of a rifle,
a finger on the trigger
then off the trigger
and on.


John Poch is Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor at Texas Tech University. His poems and translations have appeared widely in magazines such as Poetry, Paris Review, and Agni. His most recent book is Texases (WordFarm 2019).