Two Poems by Gabrielle Nevitt



Cy Twombly, Camino Real (IV). 2010, acrylic on wood panel. 99 3/8 x 73 3/4 in. credit:



What you said

sent the cockroach

under the refrigerator.

Not your words,

but the tone of them,

cut me to the bone.

He knows instinctively

to duck and cover

at explosions.

Now patiently he waits,

in cockroach time,

for us to be gone.



The sun is a harvest moon.

The geese congregate by the front door

like they do when the fox is near.

Hens hide under the shed while the emus boom.

Unlock the gates and fill the water troughs.

Hose down the roof and walls.

Park the vehicles facing toward the road.

The turkey hen can’t fly; put a box in the backseat.

Bags packed; sleeping in our clothes—

because we are the lucky ones.


Gabrielle Nevitt is an internationally recognized scientist in the area of sensory ecology—the perceptual worlds of animals. Her writing has been published in top scientific journals, including Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.