I’ve had old people down the bayou
tell me animals carry all the truth


I need to know. Any snake hanging
from a tree means illness is on its way;


one swimming on top the water
says someone will leave you soon;


cattle sprawled out on the ground
open gates for a new storm;


a turtle staring at you before you notice it
sees something bent in your soul;


blue heron alone in the marsh call
for dead relatives, begging you to remember.


Should a cat drop a mole at your feet,
though, you need to turn and run.