Readers Write: The Coyotes

Photo by Lisa Filippi


To begin, I came to watch the pair of them.
Wild creatures. Moving effortlessly
on quiet ground under an open sky.
Out in the air we breathe, having no name
to crowd them in, no door and no ceiling.

They hid in the light they carry
like blossoms dancing “we are here.”
Freedom. The way creatures of the air
unfurl waves of blessings in their element.

I try to follow but cannot though walk fast.
Hurrying. And try to pretend I’m free too,
all the way back to the beginning—
the epic light that isn’t divided.

Reaching for what was lost before I knew
it was lost, as if I had forgotten something amazing,
hoping it might be enough to carry my burden:
A diviner of existence taking nothing for granted.

Their paradise grows oaks and maples
deepened by stills of silence.
And I, whose week had been desultory and sallow
recovered my spirit. Beauty uninterrupted.
Without prejudice or ignorance, no banality,
misunderstandings or shifty misunderstandings.

Even so, it is a long way off yet, as I watched them race
over white ground on padded soles with no shadow.

I saw coyotes in the thick woods realizing they
belonged there. I watched. They vanished.
And felt like the moment fast escaped,
never forgetting I am only a visitor.

Stephen Cipot
Garden City Park

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The Island Now

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