The Window (First Draft)

Behind the house

the forest:

trees close,

branches thicker than your leg.

The house was

any house,

but for the forest.

A new house:

unfinished,

alone on the line of trees

like a dot.

A pinpoint.

A tiny prick on the edge

of the forest,

a little needle's stab.

They slept there

that night, before

the windows were put in,

just slabs of plywood

to keep out things like

wind and rain,

and mosquitoes,

and other unwelcome guests.

In the morning

the shutters opened:

through the kitchen window

you could touch

the leaves.

But they didn't.

They sat at the table,

absorbed in toast

and conversation,

dim dreams,

plans for painting

the living room.

They almost didn't

notice the thing

that flew in,

a bug-- she couldn't name it.

Irridescent green and gold,

wings like spider lace,

it spun through

looped, and left

back out the open window.

They wondered, then

returned to the orange juice.

She looked up

from the newspaper

a little later,

and a small furred thing

watching them from

a branch

thick as her waist.

Ears erect, whiskers

framing its pointed nose,

big bright eyes,

brown fur spotted

and striped like

a fawn.

She asked what

it was.

He didn't know.

They shooed it off--

it looked interested

in the toast.

She thought about

closing the shutter

but the crossword puzzle

at thirteen across

had her chewing

her pencil

and so the day

deepened.

His coffee cold,

and orange juice warm--

he heard a scuttle

and a growl:

the leaves dense

as hair, green

The strangers jumped

in through the window,

all teeth and bristles,

and as they threw them out

like sailors bailing water,

and slammed the shutter,

they wondered when the glass

would arrive

and huddled in the bedroom.