Living with doors wide open allows the wild
To quietly slip inside, hide, and reside.
A small gecko peeks out from behind a painting on the wall
Another one lurks behind a stove, stalking the flitting moths.
A spindly spider stakes claim to a dim ceiling corner.
And Roly Poly millipedes march across cool terrazzo floor.
These shy little creatures aren’t much of a bother
With a respectful distance kept between one another.
But when something much larger lurches in,
Me, leaping up shrieking, signals hasty ejection.
Like a foot long lizard with large golden eyes,
Wriggling in from its secret spot under the eaves.
Straw broom in hand, I lunge, jab, and flail
Shouting English words at the startled foreign reptile.
Snake hatchlings squirm from a dark hall closet
As I search for the mother who abandoned the clutch.
They slide through my fingers as I gather them in hand,
Darting in all directions upon release in a bamboo stand.
Higher tolerance exists out on the open porch;
It has become a tenuous transition zone of sorts.
A poisonous toad squats in the dog’s dish,
Lapping up leftover kibbles and bits.
A big grey rat darts across rough grey concrete
Just passing through, looking for something to eat.
For those unwelcome vermin, snapping death traps lie in wait.
And sharp machetes, kept at the ready, might be their final fate.
Living with doors wide open, boundaries disappear.
It’s left to us to draw the lines and pretend we’ve made them clear.
Written by Pat Bonner Milone – Redland, Florida