Turn-off to the Predator

            “Most human predators, however, seek power, not food.
            To destroy or damage something is to take its power.”
            ―Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear

Plants sense danger. They can hear
the difference between wind and hunter.

A man, sitting beside me, looks down at the book
he reads and sighs, looks up at the sky, I sympathize:

A fellow-feeling emerges, but the stairs creak
and up comes another man, unsuspecting.

The wind chimes stop ringing
for some reason.

Tiny mustard plants react to the sound of teeth.
As if they caterpillar up the stairs,

defense chemicals rise, and the foliage
becomes a turn-off to the predator.

Cassandra Rockwood-Rice self-publishes a small art and literary zine called Rag. She works for an arts non-profit and lives in California with her wonderful daughter and three brilliant cats. She is an award-winning poet with writing published in several national reviews and journals, including New Delta Review and Rip Rap. She has a poem forthcoming in Hawai’i Review. Cassandra holds a BA from California Institute of Integral Studies and an MFA in writing from California College of the Arts. She loves to travel and take on new artistic projects. She is interested in ecology, borders, identity, diasporas, and confession.

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