52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Poem 6 - Pastoral


A sign near my house, on cardboard, on a tree
& handwritten in Sharpie, reads, “Danger:
Coyotes spotted in this area at night.”
They’ve started killing them, the city has,
the contractor the city hired, at the request
of the citizens—my neighbors.
Lots of signs lately, missing pets.
My cat was killed by coyote last year.
The only remains, the front of her head,
her face with tongue in rictus hanging out,
was placed in a small wooden box by the woman
at the end of the street. Too much for my wife,
so she gave our neighbor the box, who did the job.
I was away at a conference. My wife buried it,
along with ashes of our dog (put down
eleven years ago, last time I sobbed),
in the backyard, where birds—the worst thing
to put in poems, apparently—have returned
in fearless hunting of tiny things in the lawn,
a tiny green our landlord lets us.

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