Determined

By Robbie Gamble

Squawking bulk of dark iridescence explodes onto the road from my left, waist height, flapping madly for more altitude than turkeys are built to achieve, pursued by a bounding coyote, each leap closing on the tom’s tailfeathers, the two of them crashing up the bracken on the right embankment into hemlock woods beyond, their clamor fading to uneasy silence, one taut link in the food chain drawn visible for a long catch of breath, and how we fall with determined ease into our roles: predator, prey, eyewitness, all primed for this little jump-cut encounter, not knowing how the script resolves: who dies, who eats, who finishes their stroll and tries to lie down for a nap, still thrumming with adrenaline and a fumbling, fluttering question: how do these lives run out?



Robbie Gamble writes poems and essays, bakes bread, and tries to be kind.


Photo by Robbie Gamble.