“Negev Rendezvous” by Brandon Marlon

Prowls the wolf.

Clambering sandstone with raking claws,
she hazards aloft to nose
the olive haversack foodful of rations
meant for the accoutered tracker
snugly couched behind
sandbagged positions along a ridge’s edge.

Rotating, the Bedouin Sergeant catches
the crafty bandit red-pawed
with Nature Valley granola bars
mid-mouth amidst fangs and slavered,
her hazel eyes reflecting appetence.

Reflexively, he tosses a half-chewed
fig yonder, a pathetic diversion
unable to wean the wily away
from nearer and dearer claims.

Overhead clouds budge
and he sees her as for the first time:
scrawny frame, lean visage,
the jutting ribs of scarcity.

A hard place becomes harder.

“One. That’s all,” he relents;
the dogged outlaw scowls.
“One packet has two bars inside,”
he reminds, in a commanding tone
brooking no further cheek.
“Yalla!”

She nods and bays goodbye,
her pride intact,
wasting no time in echoing
the honeyed crunch into canyons below.

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