It Takes Three Weeks To Destroy a Coyote

by Ab Davis

It’s a hard sad task
a coyote still
the same coyote
still there
gone down to her bones and her white, white teeth

in reverence I bow over her weekly.
In greed I ask what part of her could I take home–
what rabbits foot, or talisman feather
to rob her speed?

I’m gunning for her trickery.

The carcass is sunk down to the bones, flint and ash
and the jays are thick pulling the last of the sky blue.
If you say scudding, I’ll show you a black bleak sky cracked open
gleaming, bleaching the wheat fields where she ran fast as hell
the sinew and hide of her stretched beyond the race of a small muscle
or dear and delicate tendons.

I could quiver over her beautiful feet.

It takes three weeks to destroy a coyote.
She must have been blindsided
blinking past the sun
a glint of chrome.

But the last is the last,

and praying by the roadside
what words or open sky could I have begged for?
I lean my head back singing,
“How do the wheat fields ripple now O mentor?”

Ab Davis spent ten years homesteading and living in the middle of a National Forest, spent several years on a ranch on the Wyoming-Montana border, owned a small farm on the Puget Sound of Washington state, and currently lives in California. Her work will appear in upcoming publications of the San Pedro River Review and Decanto.

Back to Issue Eleven: Spring 2011