Grin

A stranger’s smile
is best
because it implies
no conflict
and a willingness
to be reasonable
with the possibility
of new friendship.

Unless the smile
appears to be
a cat’s smile
and I feel
long whiskers grow
on my face
and my spine
elongates
into a mouse’s tail.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Pluck

A red-tailed hawk stood on a fence post
that separated a rural highway
from a cornfield.

Her head turned back and forth
as a hundred bicyclists
with numbers on their backs

blurred past not seeing
the statuesque bird
or the mice that searched for food

around the corn stalks.
One mouse dared to rush
to the sentinel post and back.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney