David Fuqua

Because you won't know if I don't tell you

Behind the house one ridge over, coyote howled
Tentative verses on his woods-life edda.
With the moon rising on his hunting field,
His own long shadow must add stature,
Like his winter coat, on a skinny frame. 

Eager critics, the dogs barked back remarks
And yipped corrective prosody advice
Until they too gave way to the swelling song.
The song, in the still woods spread its undulate
Margins wide through the cooling valleys. 

And the rustling deer settling in the leaves to sleep
Near the crests of hills, often the only sound
On still nights like this, stopped their bedding-down;
Surely to listen as this canine voice grows
To meet its own call to fill this place with song. 

This mostly unwelcome guest sang his verses long
That night; his simple prey well schooled now
In his whereabouts, so pulled tight into their holes
Could themselves perhaps admire the rich
Convoluted plot and loose refrains,
More than the noise of our settling-in.





by Nancy Dunaway