The night before my 68th, I dreamed
of walking a bookmarked scrap of land.
I saw a coyote following me.
He wasn’t threatening, just staring,
just sizing me up. I didn’t want to
be sized up. I walked the other direction.
He followed, ran to me, heeled.
We walked together.
I ignored him. He stayed heeled.
We came to an abandoned stable, walked in.
I stopped in front of a stall.
The coyote climbed up the door,
arced his body across the gap, gracefully draped himself
across my shoulders.
I stood there, not wanting to move, the coyote
snugged against me. Maybe I worried
about fleas. Maybe I was guarding his sleep.
I don’t know how long I was still and quiet. I don’t know
how time is measured there.
About the Author: Samuel Prestridge lives and works in Athens, Georgia. He has published or has forthcoming articles, poems, essays, and interviews in a wide range of publications, including Literary Imagination, Style, Appalachian Quarterly, Paideuma, Poem, The Southern Humanities Review, The Lullwater Review, The Arkansas Review, Autumn Skies, and Better Than Starbucks.
Regarding his approach to writing, he says, “I write poetry because there are matters that cannot be directly stated, but are essential to the survival of whatever soul we can still have. Also, I’m no good at interpretive dance, which is the only other options that’s occurred to me.”
Image Credit: Illustration taken from Wild animals of North America Washington, D.C.,The National geographical society[c1918] Public Domain. Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.