A Little Poison

by William Keller

A red eft crosses the rail trail, slowly,
gravel big as boulders to his elbowed
legs. When I approach, he freezes –
not camouflaged, but bright as an autumn
leaf, gold eye-rings sparkling. He knows
there are bigger, sharp-toothed things in these
woods, but he’s confident they won’t eat
him, despite his tender, spotted skin,
so he holds a pose, lets me come close,
as if to say, Yes, you’re right, it’s me.
A little poison sets him free. 

William Keller

Bill Keller is a novelist, poet, and photographer living in the Hudson Valley