March 19, 2011

Conrad Geller

THE COYOTE IN THE GRAVEYARD

I know you, those eyes, that furtive skulk.
I know why you have come, partly to mock
The mourners with their stones, partly to see
A curious ceremony. You are small,
Obviously starving. Your coat is bad.
You have no reason for that arrogance
Because, in spite of fortune, we are the living,
We have come here of our own accord.

But in the silence after everyone is gone
I know you, loping in and out
With your inventory nose, making acquaintance
With new members, comforting the old,
Holding your own service, noting the innocence
With which the other mourners said their prayers.

from Rattle #17, Summer 2002