by Mark Jarman

Is this world truly fallen? They say no.
For there’s the new moon, there’s the Milky Way,
There’s the rattler with a wren’s egg in its mouth,
And there’s the panting rabbit they will eat.
They sing their wild hymn on the dark slope,
Reading the stars like notes of hilarious music.
Is this a fallen world? How could it be?

And yet we’re crying over the stars again,
And over the uncertainty of death,
Which we suspect will divide us all forever.
I’m tired of those who broadcast their certainties,
Constantly on their cell phones to their redeemer.
Is this a fallen world? For them it is.
But there’s that starlit burst of animal laughter.

Coyote, by Cal Poly Land

The day has sent its fires scattering.
The night has risen from its burning bed.
Our tears are proof that love is meant for life
And for the living. And this chorus of praise,
Which the pet dogs of the neighborhood are answering
Nostalgically, invites our answer, too.
Is this a fallen world? How could it be?

Originally published in The Atlantic, May, 2003

2 comments On “Coyotes”

  • The call of Kansas coyotes is music to my soul…. from the corners of my childhood world–security in knowing they were on watch.

    • Thanks for this comment.

      I missed this joy as a child in Ohio and the Northeast, though I understand that coyotes and wolves have, to some extent, made their way back east.

      I look for anything in nature which gives voice to its own appreciation of nature.

      Blessèd Be,

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