Tupelo Coyote by Wren Tuatha

We were tracing Jack’s Creek
where the woods abducts it from the rolling
hills of dairy cows and tobacco.
I on the asphalt, you behind the tupelos.
You stalked me like a fan
afraid to ask for my autograph.
Those alien eyes,
calculating,
measuring my marrow
bend after turn, always
thirty paces aside.

Now you trot out in the farmlands,
legs like tobacco sticks, mapping the median line.
I am roadside, reading.
You are storybook real.
I speak to you, familiar,
as if you are the family dog.
Your answer is a glare-beam
that rips me, rights me.

You put me in the landscape,
that’s all.

(First published in Canary, A Journal of the Environmental Crisis. Upcoming in The Paddock Review, the new journal of Finishing Line Press.)

Wren Tuatha’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Poetry Circle, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, The Bees Are Dead, and Bangalore Review. She accepts that coyotes want nothing to do with her.

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