Nighttime in the Woods

By Dave Hanks

	Daylight slowly releases its grip 
		And the dark becomes the master.
	The woodland visitor now escapes this alien realm 
		To seek the security of his bed,
	Whether sleeping bag, or a more protected recluse.
		But when the sun goes down
	The creatures of the night venture forth,
		Creeping so quietly and masked in darkness.
	Sleep locks the drama safely away,
 		But insomnia can at times provide clues
 	Clues that something is about;
		A scratching, a soft bang, or muted growl;  
	Can tempt one to leave that comforting warmth
		To sate newly aroused curiosity.
 	A rich moment to be captured   
		As flashlight beam reveals pairs of glistening eyes!
 	Fat, furry bodies or sleek ones with enormous tails,
 		Respond with silent retreat only to reappear
	As campground attractions prove too irresistible.
		Normal fear is over shadowed by visceral necessity.
	I have lived these special moments.
		Though somewhat painful to leave one's bed,
	So carefully heated with body warmth and position snugly found,
		The effort well worth the reward.
	Moments treasured long after discomfort of rising
		Has been erased when once the deed is done.
	Experience with earth's wild creatures:
 		A never ending source of excitement and wonder!

(Eyes in the night)