posted: Coyote in neighborhood
She tip-toes over the park, pauses, her nose
to the earth for some scent of the ancestral path
that runs far below along underground currents.
She heard traces of it whispered among the pack.
Her mind races to imagine a draw, a willowed creek.
The ancient path, like the old stories, lies beneath
the park’s short-cropped lawn. She traverses its length,
spread as habitat for mothers with strollers, swings,
baseball and cricket, canine cousins on leashes.
Coyote sniffs the air, seeking heaven’s aid,
her breath a vapor in the chill autumn dusk.
She saunters forward, holding in the sinew
of her agile limbs the memory of past hunters--
mice scurrying scared in the brush, a deer
taken down by the pack, so deft, the carcass left
half-eaten, spent salmon easy prey in the shallows,
rabbits crying in a thicket, pups at mothers’ teats.
She feels the ancestral stories of woodsmen too,
axes chewing, felling trees to be shaped into dens
for the two-legged intruders, or the logs dragged
by horses to the bay and on to other lands.
The stories are fading—an ancient path,
a willowed creek drained and tilled--
their telling quelled by the interment.
Tales of new hunters today replace old,
and Coyote has only dreams running cold
like still water far beneath her feet.