Coyote

I saw you born of fog, playing with your brother on the colonial carriage path,

Surrounding glacial pastures, in northern New Jersey.
Your pack barked and wailed, when the fire horn screamed,
As I sat at my campfire on haunted Schunnemunk Mountain.
I followed your paw prints in December snows of Black Rock Forest.
Coyote, suckle your pups at Summer filled teats.
Breathing poetry under dark Mountain Laurels.
A truck murdered you.
I stopped at your majestic torso—
a yelp of rich blood like a red vine from your open maw.
Dark blonde fur caressed by Lenape ghosts, beckoned me to halt my car.
I could not leave you to be spread into ruin by oblivion's emissaries.
I grasped back legs, and pulled your sleeping body from damp and dumb pavement—
the sacrificial altar of commerce.
Petroleum death barges sailed by.
I dragged you, like a sack of wet sand; a fallen rebel against an urban incursion.
The humid day called witness clouds for ghosts to clean your blood
with hail and cool July rain.
They chased you down in Central Park.
It took days but they found you:
cast a net over your feral hide, stabbed you with needles,
and made your green fire smolder and smoke like addicts in alleyways, on stoops,
and Victorian tenements.
They captured you, ensnared you with poisoned meat
and rifle dirges like bold Grey Wolf and Mountain Lion.
Their metal traps mock your fangs; chew your fur, flesh, and muscle.
People turn on their own packs—they kill what they do not comprehend.
Coyote deity, your rut will be written in soil tales; on lichen parchment;
Spring fog, Summer oak stands, when your clan is gone.
Yet, who shall write of the human drama of blood:
Babies born of starving mothers and warfare fathers;
skeleton houses and twisted automobiles?
Humans prepare for war and make babies.
They slaughter the forest, and whelp babies.
They poison the water, and drop babies.
They pave over farmland and starve children.
Your spirit walks in Summer-mad marshland, searching for your mate and pups,
Crossing roads in bog mists, and scavenging like humans.


-Robert Milby

July 24, 2006





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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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