Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Coyote dreams

You left your shirt here last night
rich with sweet, strong nutrients
as a forest glade. Undetected
it sat upon the dresser as we sailed
our ships over a glassy-smooth
sea of sleep.

I left the door unlocked last night
and the coyotes, drawn
by the sweet woodland scent
of your forgotten garment, silently
nosed their way in. First one,
then two, then a dozen came
snuffling into the hall, whiskered
heads swinging from side to side,
soft tails lowered. I woke

and they scattered quick as
prism-light as I gathered the laundry
and loaded the machine,
a precautionary measure. As the load
swirled and hummed, they left my mind

until two scolding ravens alerted me
to the still figure of Coyote
standing grey-headed
at the foot of the hill
near the traffic lights, front feet
up on a snowbank, waiting
for a break in the slush-torn flow
of the traffic.

Her ears stood tall, bristled
angular signs calling
her absent companion. This one,
in this place, is always, always
searching, and I wonder if
she ever finds that which she seeks.

I longed for her to turn her head
my way, acknowledge her visit
down my deep, dark hall
but the soap had washed
your scent away
to neutral.

Rachel Westfall
March 2, 2009


Faith said...

You are amazing. I am going to have to read this quite a few times to let the richness sink into me. Your poetry always leaves me breathless. If you ever do make chapbooks, I would so love to have one. I treasure your words. (sorry if I am gushing -- but really, Rachel, you are amazing:) )

Woman in a Window said...

damn soap. sometimes i hope it doesn't work at all.

wonderful imagery to start my day.

Anonymous said...

a truly wonderful poem with many levels

Lirio said...

oh rachel
oh rachel
so lovely

christopher said...

Holy coyote!

Kyddryn said...

Beautiful, love...

Shade and Sweetwater,

Faith said...

Sorry about the double comment -- I guess I was really gushing:)

RachelW said...

Thanks everyone :) I really like this one, and I'm glad you do too!

Faith, I don't know why that happens sometimes, but I've deleted the duplicate now. Thank you for gushing! :)

Karen said...

I have to echo Faith's comment. Your poetry always amazes me. This one is so layered that I have to go back to it. I'm "getting" new parts with each reading.

I feel so inept when I comment. It's hard to describe that intake of breath that I have when I finish your poems.

colleen said...

Coyote is coy. His name tells us so. And such a heyoka.

Anonymous said...

I can see her poised there...she is beautiful.
great write!