Outdoors, the
instructor scraped
snow, exposing
vole trails and one
small gray-brown vole,
a wee sleeket
cow’rin tim’rous
beastie like the
one Burns’s plow
unearthed. The
instructor had
barely given
it a name when,
swift as a guillotine,
a red-tailed hawk
swooped to snatch it,
roosting in a tree
to breakfast and
ignoring us
with Olympian
We stood stock still,
shocked and thrilled
to see a bird
of prey up close,
vole guts dangling
like spaghetti
from its bill.


Kathleen Naureckas is a retired journalist whose poems have appeared in Bluestem, Light, Measure and Willow Review, among others. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, “For the Duration,” in 2012.