By Mark Luebbers
The coyotes nightly move in twos
and threes across the black backyards
and along the fences in the townships
of Ohio, within earshot of the beltway.
Picaroons, ragged and dauntless, robbing
dinner bones from the trash, pillaging
the odd suburban chicken or the family
cat, and pausing under the streetlight.
Whereupon, seen from say, the kitchen
window by a woman in the grip of night
clothes and insomnia, the police are hailed,
the media are primed, and by morning
the public is duly warned: Lock up your heirlooms
and flowers! Back up your files! Buy bread
and gasoline! Are your vaccines up to date?
Stay tuned for more fascinating dangers!
But we need these transient crimes, alien
as they are from human code. We may augur
terror from the scat on our lawns, yet is it
not right and true to have a few interlopers
shambling among us, while we are retracted
and reposed? They take their tariff, hold
morsels of our security in their teeth, hold
the dark open, and lightly prance away.
I'm a teacher and live with my wife, sons and dog in Cincinnati. While I'm a reluctant suburbanite, I've also found this very conventional place to be a fertile landscape for poems about the odd juxtapositions of the natural and man-made worlds. My poems have appeared in Miller's Pond Review and Intuitions.