I see them only rarely,
coming home in the dark.
Driving through the subdivision,
land of copy-cat houses.
My car glides through one-time prairie,
scraped clean not long ago.
Their eyes are what I see first,
reflective swirls like marbles.
Slowing down, I stop and stare,
as two coyotes cross the street.
Heading down to the drainage ditch,
foreigners in what was their home.
They head out to the scrub brush,
remaining patches of pasture land.
They look as if to shrug and ask,
“Where else do we have to go?”
As I drive on down the lane,
reflecting on their wake.
My mind drifts to the past,
when this plain was theirs alone.
How do they see us,
intruders of suburban sprawl?
We are the interlopers,
the invaders of their home.
Sooner or later the brush will go,
more tract houses will go up.
The little patches of trees and woods,
will be bulldozed to make room.
I know they’ll survive;
somehow they make it through.
But as I park in my garage,
their howls echo to the moon.
I hear their cries and take comfort,
that I can hear them still.
But as I walk in to greet my sons,
I worry if will they hear them as adults?
By Carl Wade Thompson
Carl Wade Thompson is a poet, essayist, and the graduate writing tutor at Texas Wesleyan University. He has published poetry and memoir essays in The Mayo Review, The Concho River Review, One in Four, Anak Sastra, The Galway Review, The Blue Collar Review, Piker Press, The Eunoia Review, Blue Minaret, Nebo Literary Magazine, Alphelion Literary Webzine, and Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas. He lives on the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas. His poems explore the link between the urban and the rural.
Photo by Derek Audette