Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ferrets in the Field

his face in shadow
mine yellowed by the moon
we loaded
the ox cart at dusk

he popped an ox-hide whip
and the cart creaked forward
burdened by a cage
framed in wood
and enclosed by wire

stepping in worn tracks
watching our way
avoiding turning an ankle
we reached hours later
the wheat field

embarrassed by the mayhem 
to come once I loosed the latch
and the door swung free
he rolled up his whip
and waited in an oak's silent shadow

alone I opened the cage

squealing inside
spitting and scratching
fearful of their fate
they emerged 
hesitating  for a moment
on the lip of the cart
then sprang head first
onto the moon-soaked grain

with a final look over their shoulder
they gamboled and gyrated
their treacherous way
through dry stalks
below the moon's jaundiced glare
gleefully devouring  the rodents--
rabbits and mice--that hid there