A light slash across the close-cropped lawn, sun through
the trees, falls across a stone bench which cannot stop it
as it zags across that hard surface and slices down the side
to ground again—it steals my breath as I look out of the
kitchen window. It’s the owl’s back yard, and the big hawk
that stood its ground, actually standing on the ground as I
approached unaware, then saw him, I turned aside and
changed my course, I wondered what the dogs would do
if they saw him, they run that place back there, they’d
bark and run and chase him off, that fierce fellow who
nested near them when they were small and penned as
pups. The light that takes my breath away is the color of
lemonade on the close-cut grass and it licks across it like
a slap of Winsor & Newton Lemon Yellow Deep on a
master’s brush, someone who knows what they’re doing,
and it goes to Yellow Ochre as it approaches shade, then
altogether black as tree trunks cut verticals through it.


Guinotte Wise writes and welds steel sculpture on a farm in Resume Speed, Kansas. His short story collection (Night Train, Cold Beer) won publication by a university press and enough money to fix the soffits. Five more books since. A five-time Pushcart nominee, his fiction and poetry have been published in numerous literary journals including Atticus, The MacGuffin, Southern Humanities Review, Rattle and The American Journal of Poetry. His wife has an honest job in the city and drives 100 miles a day to keep it. Some work is at http://www.wisesculpture.com