Although I walk here often,
itís clear I still donít belong.
I long for softer feet,
for a scent that isnít so human,
so that I can get to know the creatures
in their true, relaxed state.
But no Ė crows caw their warnings
as a pheasant streaks across my path,
hurrying into hiding.
Deer stop their grazing,
watching me, wary and big-eared as they discern
whether to feign nonchalance and trot away,
or to bound with their tail-flags waving white.
A robin anxiously draws my attention
away from a nest I canít even see.
If only they all realized
how dumb my human senses are,
they wouldnít be so alarmed.
If the ducks were aware
of how their panicked quack-flapping startled me -
likely more than I terrified them -
they would know Iím not much of a threat.
But all their instincts must tell them
that my kind is bad newsÖ
and I canít say I blame them.
So I have to be content with
a last-second glimpse of submerging muskrat
as I go stomping blindly by,
a clumsy human intruding on a world
where I clearly canít be trusted.