Ann Keiffer


It’s bound to happen when civilization rubs its nubby
backbone up against wildness.
The wild ones become less wary,
move in closer, nose the garbage,
take the measure of small children and oblivious creatures.

It’s happening here in our quiet California community.
Before, I closed my eyes for sleep
on silent mountain peaks, moonlight
and the summer cadences of crickets.
Now, coyote packs skulk the oaks at night, track deer,

attack, sink fangs in sinewed flesh. deer shriek the piercing
alarm of their own murder.
Hackled howling fills the valley
before the coyotes fall to feast.
I lie awake, tense in my safe, warm bed, stomach clenched,

prickle of hair on my neck–realizing I am feeling, briefly,
the assault on senses suffered
constantly by those in war zones,
violent streets, and battering families.
Man, woman, or child, under the ceaseless assault of screams,

shots, sirens, or savagery, we cannot help but be altered
in our very cells, deadened,
or scraped raw, like live wire.

Ann Keiffer
September, 2012

Photo Credit:The Fort Campbell Courier


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

Recent Poems

Buy My Book