A Late Afternoon Winter Walk

photo from flickr fotos: Arizona desert museum coyote

The sun on its descent to the other side
caused deep shadows, sharply angled
to fall from the trees and houses
across the street and sidewalk

My dogs, leashed with anxious noses in the air
ears pricked, move in harmony with
wagging tails and lively steps
prance down the street for a walk

The air, still warm though winter, harsh desert sun
a gentle breeze hints of the chill
that sneaks in when darkness falls
turning the bird bath to ice

Our walk is brisk, so little day light remains
Up the hill turn around and down
up another round the curve
shadows deepen bush rustles

Quail families out for dinner all in a line
and then the coyote one, two
the entire den wakes and
cries their eerie wake-up call

Just over there, the coyote family hidden
by scrub trees, thickets, cacti
Quick, I tell the dogs as the
wind carries the cry away

(In Arizona one pronounces coyotes in two syllables Ki-otes, not the three syllable, Ki-yo-tee, of the Midwest)


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
This entry was posted in coyotes, dogs, poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Late Afternoon Winter Walk

  1. zorra says:

    How do your dogs react to the coyotes' cries? We would have guessed a dog would be intrigued to hear that, but it seemed to scare ours.

  2. Mompriest says:

    At first they were alarmed, but now they hardly seem to notice…even when the babies, from the den in the arroyo behind our house, would yip and cry loudly at the arrival of food – the dogs barely noticed. but the bobcats still cause them some concern as do the javelina when they walk by….

  3. Kievas says:

    You've captured all the imagery of the desert…I can almost hear the coyotes!

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