top of page
Walk On By

The little raccoon seemed lost

in her swamp’s worldly concerns,

as was I, both surprised to find

another on the planked path

we’d each traveled alone before.


She paused, looking up at me,

not three feet away. It could

have been a moment of fear

and mistrust, but both kept the

energy of our wild encounter calm.


Hardly knowing what to say or do,

I spoke tenderly to her, as though she

were one of my children, asking her

to walk on by, to make her way on the damp path beside the raised walkway.


Sniffing December’s cool air around her, listening to my gentle motherly voice,

she slipped off the walkway, passing

quietly between me and the lake,

still close enough to touch.


Once safely on the other side of me,

she looked back, sniffing the air again,

as if to say, “Oh, now I smell you!”

We each walked on, alone in the

deep peace of late afternoon.

Pamela Brothers Denyes’ award-winning poems appear in multiple journals and international anthologies. Her full-length poetry collections, The Right Mistakes and The Widow’s Lovers, are available from Kelsay Books and Amazon. Pamela’s chapbook, As I Lay Dreaming, is available on her web site. Now retired, she's harvesting forty years of poetry journals to create new works—and fun! Reach her at

bottom of page