Michael Estabrook

A garter snake fatter around than most rests
like a lazy dinosaur
on the warm rocks alongside the front walk.
I’m surprised when my wife
asks me to catch him
and let him go in her flower garden.
“But he’s a snake,” I say.
“Yes,” she says,
“and I want him in my garden
to get rid of the moles and mice.” I smile.
“He will get rid of the moles and mice won’t he?”
I smile again, “Why of course, honey.”
Though I know he’s too small for that
I simply cannot resist the temptation
of putting a snake back
into the Garden at the request of a Woman.

Biophilia (Love of Nature) 
In my wife’s garden darkening at dusk
bats flit soundlessly above azaleas and forsythias.
While in the shadows below
in the final moments of twilight
paper-thin pink morning glories glow.

I don’t know what plants are growing
in the shade down beneath the bird feeder
but they’re growing so I haven’t the heart
to clip them or pluck them out or cover them up
with peat moss or mulch.

Sitting out on the back deck watching
the sky with all its blue
tumbling down through the branches and leaves
of the trees reaching
all the way to the ground.

In the middle of the pinkest bush
a single wine-red rose reflects the sun
something Van Gogh or Monet
would’ve thought to paint especially
with a final spurt of color as a bluebird streaks by.