The Whiskey Jack

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Every morning,
scratchy screech
awakens long
before the devil
sun reaches
sleepy eyelids.

Paws at the tent
opening –
whining, begging
to be let out,
to see the disturbance.
Instinct to make the site
free of vermin.

Taunting,
perched in hemlock
barely out of his reach.
Barks echo across
the lake –
laughing at
his longing.

Scavengers.
Trolling the firepit,
whiskey jacks swoop
and sway,
picking at crumbs,
remnants from
the hazy night before.

Jumping, quick spurts
closer to
bodies hanging
in hammocks,
hands digging into
bags of mix.

Like giant chickadees
with their black heads,
beady black eyes
that stare, plead.
Throw a nut,
a cracker,
living off the leftovers.

Grey jays, the
king of the mountains.
Always present,
watching,
waiting,
pushing bravery
boundaries,
inching closer
every time.

 

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