A coyote, illustration for Allyson Whipple February poem.

Poem: ‘While I Was Trying to Avoid Falling in Love’


A version of this story ran in the February 2016 issue.

A coyote loped down the street
at dawn and my heart stuttered.
The canid never acknowledged
us, its legs propelling through
the intersection. My dog strained
to chase, fullfill terrier imperative,
twenty pounds of muscle and instinct
pulling against the leash, working
to break grip and pursue
the hurried creature, overtake
the passing force. I dug
my heels into the lawn,
goosebumps rising, senses tuned
to the glimpse of wilderness breaking
through my desire for order.

[Featured image: Navid Vahdat/flickr/creative commons]