Coyote. Carnation, WA. Click for larger image.

Coyote. Carnation, WA. Click for larger image.

Long before I see you
you know I am here
have taken in my scent
of shampoo, of sweat,
of what I last ate

You have heard the crunch
of my footsteps,
the slow tapping
of my walking stick
have heard as well
my muddled words
about this bird or that

And you have seen
my unnatural

two-legged stance.

When I first find you in that clearing
how long have you been staring at me?
Your lanky frame
straight-on ears larger than a dog’s
soft, intent eyes holding
fear, curiosity


Then you lope away, frightened
or maybe playful
cloaked by a wooded thicket.

I walk far away
then look back
at your tiny shape
standing in your marsh
watching, waiting
making sure I am