Nevada City: Coyotes

Border collie, Lochinvar.

You lay motionless
between my sleeping bag and Dave’s
as the coyotes
fifteen, twenty?
testing the ground with their paws
advanced ...  si-lent-ly
toward the dish
of YOUR dogfood
which I had placed
an arm’s length from my head
so I could see them
     up close.

Munch, munch.
Munch, munch, munch very quickly.
They left silently.

Three days later
while Dave’s family paid a visit
he and they and were
to town, to visit their friends, for whatever
and you stayed behind
while I read some Steinbeck.

You wimpered
and I saw
SHE stood motionless
across the little draw
from us
looking over her shoulder
at you
not even wagging her tail.     Silence.

You wimpered
and I held you.
Stay with me, Loch.
Something bad will happen.
Coyotes aren’t supposed to be out
at eleven in the morning.

How long was it?

At LAST she crossed the clearing,
vanishing behind the brush.
Is it over?

Seconds later
the rest of the pack
followed her across the clearing
without so much as a glance
at us.