Coyote on the Cusp

Out all night
trolling in the dark,
in and out of shadow
carrying the moon
on his bow bent back,
sang in eerie wild abandon
on a stomach as empty
as a beggar’s pocket,
trots out from behind
a green froth of pine
along the woody rise,
ears alert, nose lowered,
skimming the scent
of deer that passed at dawn,
slipping off the hill
down into the dip,
stops to size up the situation.
Grizzled in his winter coat,
thin as an apparition,
keen with hunger
and no chance for a chicken,
he turns to the woods,
towards the manic swamp
where this season’s skunk cabbage
looks almost edible
and frogs are thicker than fleas.
By Joyce Joslin Lorenson