Calling Cards and (Wild) Life in the Inner Suburbs

Calling Cards

by Elsa Johnson

                      They take one full cycle of the light to

cross as they return to the park through the south

east gate after visiting the neighborhood            

as though knowing well brought up geese cross at

lights and cross-walks          use proper entrances :

today they are just two car lengths off               No

mystery why they are returning to

the park   the lake    the safe island where coyotes

can’t go                  But why do they go in the other

direction ?                to the houses with manicured

lawns on the park periphery                   escorting

the goose children through traffic to come calling

leaving behind the           soft    rich    calling cards

home owners      should be grateful       to receive

(Wild) Life in the Inner Suburbs

by Elsa Johnson

Walking to my car parked in the street                 I find

urban livestock grazing the sidewalk                two of

them        studies in dun     Looking like big dun dogs 

Looking like someone opened the closet door  

found moths in all the good dun suits                 the no

color suits of shadow              Looking patched up and

lean          with long dun bodies a-top legs like twigs  :

gazing at me with soft brown eyes      a bit      anxious   

like              there’s a name on the tip of their tongues   

— if they could remember                              everything

would be all right        like they think      I’m thinking     

there goes the neighborhood          when all I’m really

thinking is                         up to now you haven’t eaten

my daylilies                 Dammit  :           Don’t start now