By Tennessee Reed


The Immigrant in My Garden

The earthworm slithers
across the garden's wet cement
in front of the Bird of Paradise
on a Saturday afternoon
after a heavy rainfall

It is hard to imagine that this worm
is a second or third generation
"illegal immigrant"
whose ancestors stowed away to the New World
from South America, Europe or Asia

When I pick him up
he examines the palm of my hand
by bobbing his head
then curves into the same shape
as our large intestine

I try to understand
how far back we go
since scientists say
we're close cousins
when it comes down
to the count of our DNA

Midnight Snack

On the Ten O'Clock News
Barbie alerts the Bay Area public
to beware of hungry foraging by American black bears
just emerging from hibernation
in Yosemite National Park
Next to her is a photo displaying one bear
with ears perked up as it looks to its right
to check for goodies packed in parked cars
Ken warns everyone
with a documentary videotape
of an American black bear
breaking into a silver Subaru Outback SUV
Protected by a starless black night,
the bear forages fearless into the "way-back"
removing fruit and nuts
while campers sleep unaware
It drops down on all fours
then toddles off to feed itself
and its five month old cubs
As the park ranger puts it,
"The more fearless they are towards humans,
the more dangerous they become."


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