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porcupine

a breath-held pause as
a porcupine lumbers across
the twilit trail ahead of us.
stock still and silent,
afraid to break the spell, we stand
and witness this world-weary
wanderer’s progress through
the wyoming undergrowth.
something in its odd
shambling gait
of a tennis player
carrying an old injury
around like a grudge.
an unlikely creature,
a mythical beast,
a jabberwock,
grandiose and ragged,
ponderously dragging
his own somewhat shabby
bridal train behind him.

Photo used with thanks (By Mary Harrsch – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, from here).