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Coyotes at Eyebrow Lake, Saskatchewan

David Waltner-Toews
From:   The Fat Lady Struck Dumb. Brick Books, 2000.


The coyotes file in
like a silent, solemn, wire-haired choir,
along the coulee's moonlit rim,
awaiting the conductor's whim
to set their voices, held like anxious birds
in slender cages, free.
The poet sinks into the sleepy, self-indulgent
dusk of his tent, unaware.
Eyebrow Lake winks,
flashing a half-moon.
The orgasmic hoot and holler
of the sudden coyote hootenany
breaks over the valley,
an extended, happy, off-key
full-hearted family campfire song.
The poet scrambles for unidentified
feelings, missing words,
superlatives lost among the musty pile
of socks and two-day underwear.
Sand Hill Cranes lift,
wing on wing, a soft, coughing purr
against the night.
The poet sits, stunned,
amid the litter of his daily rhyme,
terrified by a sudden, fleeting joy.



David Waltner-Toews' works copyright © to the author.


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