Art: (c) Jamie K. Reaser
At daybreak, as the first flurries fell,
the dog brought me report
“There, on the ridge line!” exclaimed
“There, on the ridge line! See?” She
insisted and beckoned, repeatedly.
No, I didn’t see him.
But, I felt him.
I remembered the uniqueness of the
full-body prick and tingle
from our first meeting –
two winters ago,
under circumstances of similar snow pack,
similar snow promise.
Naively he padded down the drive toward the cabin,
until, suddenly, our twelve senses mingled -
causing us both pause,
In the instant our eyes met, he drew me near
in a wild, chaotic embrace
Taken in that manner, you must gasp.
…and then sigh.
He is memory in an instant.
On, this day,
he returned in form,
longing for more.
How often had he watched me?
There are times, when doing farm chores,
that I feel my every move measured.
Does coyote know my routines, know my stride and gate?
If so, he knows me better than most.
But, I am not to be flattered.
“No, I spoke to him.”
I have made my offerings to bird,
and even mouse.
Fatten your predator hide on these.
What you ask of me is too much.
The lives here are not mine to give.
None desires to separate body from soul
this day or this night.
Not for you.
Not for me.
And so, ridge running coyote,
know this -
despite chill and the threat of tree-bending winds,
dog and I will remain awake to your presence.
It is our duty.
It is what we shepherds do.
We are the edge walkers between the
wild and the domestic.
The flurries still fall.
© 2010-2011/Jamie K. Reaser