If you stripped a dog of its social eagerness,
gave it a loping indifference to human presence
and starved it, you’d have a coyote,
stalking like a shadow among the garbage cans
at the top of Pearl Street, near the Fine Arts Work Center.
We’re heading back to our car through a fine mist,
the streetlights haloing amid the black trees,
and we stop, watching him appear and disappear
gaunt as a Giacometti. He’s nothing
like a dog bounding into the street.
Does he care if this is a street?-or just a hard place
under his paws. Ever since childhood
I’ve tried to be alert to what people are up to,
but why not see the coyote’s point of view?-
how he prefers to ignore them,
following his own track through the darkness.
"The Coyote" by Alan Feldman from Immortality. © University of Wisconsin Press, 2015.