An excerpt from

Fielder's Choice
by Elise Partridge


Nothing fled when we walked up to it,
nor did we flinch,
even at the hobnailed gators sunning two-inch fangs,
a licorice-whip snake slipping over our shoes.
The normally secretive clapper-rail
appeared under our boardwalk
glancing this way and that,
casual as a moviegoer hunting for a seat.
Tropical, temperate, each constituency spoke—
the sunburned-looking gumbo-limbo trees
nodded side by side with sedate, northern pines.
Even the darkness gave its blessing
for the moonflower to open under its aegis.
A bird swaying on a pole of sedge
sang two notes that might have been “Name me.”