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Unwanted. She is a mangy thing after all. Her fur a patchwork of desert sand and ash, bristled and wiry. Lush in places, starved in others. I have seen her before, this coyote, alone in the desert as we are now. No fear, no threat - only comfort.

A wire fence stands between us - one of those square knotted things they use for goats or sheep, or to keep the hogs from crossing the road perhaps. They are everywhere it seems.

She moves effortlessly through this wasteland, dodging what little brush there is, oblivious to my presence, to the gentle hum of the engine as I drive alongside. Her cadence a smooth and gentle rhythm. Trot – trot – trot- trot she goes.

Now a wolf stands, carcass at her feet. The withered shell of a deer, dry and twisted from days of sun and wind - an empty vessel - nourishment just the same.

Angling and sliding, she pushes through the cross-fence, cuts across the road ahead, and disappears into a jungle on the other side, thick and green. Lush and thick in the way that only jungles can be. In a second she is gone.

And me?

I drive on, entranced by her walk, her focus, her simple desire to live whatever the cost. In her amber eyes and narrow pupils I am lost, mis-placed, and shaken. White lines blur into faded asphalt against a graying sun

… and I’m not sure she ever looked my way.

Note: After finishing this dream sequence I looked up to see a coyote on the ridge, making his or her way to water. I followed her with my binoculars down to the trough where an elk stood drinking.

1 Comment

Patrick Wilkinson
Patrick Wilkinson
Jun 11

Half-ass Faux Sonnet to the Saddle Tramp

Are you still coming back this year?

Perhaps you should wait some more

For still, people are rather nasty here

Yeah, I'd continue fortifying your core.

Humanity is still quite a mess.

Changed hearts will win the day

Texans no different than the rest

A godly shield will aid your way!

Still a Houston friend turns to dogs,

Only unconditional love she'll win.

She won't cast her pearls among hogs,

Made her peace with men--never again.

I daily feel an unrequited love,

She'll never be my lovely dove.

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