The cabin is nestled into
the steep, wooded ridge of the forest.
The slope ends abruptly, steps away.
the night creatures peer in.
Yet, we venture out.
The campfire reassures;
around it, our faces are cast orange
by its fading embers.
First the bats swoop in –
treetop level, scooping bugs –
mosquitoes we hope.
The rustling of leaves up the ridge
under the dark canopy
remains a mystery.
The coyotes scream a frightful warning
to the deer from ridge to ridge.
The outcome inevitable and unmistakable to the ear.
The owls hoot and screech;
Such a hullabaloo is rarely heard.
It is night in southern Appalachia.
The creatures declare:
Here, you are merely a visitor.
© Michael M. Barrick, 2012 – 2017. Photo credit: Ray Hennessy