The Window (Second Draft)

Behind the house

the forest:

branches thicker than your leg.

Unfinished and alone,

a new house:

thorn in the line of trees,

a splinter's stab.

They slept inside

before the windows were put in,

just plywood shutters

to keep out things:

wind and rain,

mosquitoes, other unwelcome guests.

In the morning

the shutters opened:

through the kitchen window

you could touch

the leaves.

But they left

The greenery untouched.

They sat at the table,

absorbed in toast

and conversation,

plans for painting

the living room.

They almost didn't

notice what 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

watched them between branches.

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 the day deepened.

His coffee cold,

and orange juice warm--

he heard a scuttle

and a growl:

the leaves dense

as hair, green

as moss hidden underground.

The strangers jumped

in through the window:

teeth and bristles,

eyes like embers,

small and vicious they wound

through the table legs

to bite at calves.

They would grab

a furry wiry body,

throw it back to the trees

like sailors bailing water--

then slammed the shutter,

wondering when the glass

would arrive.