coyotes

five coyotes wail in the thick
white hills beyond the gulch
impossibly close in the throat
of a wintering and one
with a rattling vibrato
off to the west of the pack

perhaps a twisted leg a sorrow
a bullet in the flank perhaps
alone and fearful the season
is always open on dogs here
— vermin and yet they bay
these mothers and pups

these sisters in the thick
white hills beyond the gulch
sounding across the ice seized
stream the instinct in wintering
the gathering the language
I have never learned to speak

Image: Caleb Woods on Unsplash

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