Monday, January 07, 2008

writing prompt #5: around to hear it

Thanks to Jamie for the following writing prompt: "How about a story from the point of view of a coyote." (Since Jamie’s a poet, I decided to make it a poem instead. Jamie also introduced me to the very inspiring Charlie of The Daily Coyote.)

He is growing into his ears.
Once funnels, they swallowed a creak
of cabin floor, a housecat’s keening
meow, somehow maternal.

There was a girl with a bottle
and his nose turned from nub
to snout. Shingle roof
between him and the Wyoming moon.

Polar fleece and roast chicken,
red leather collar and a name
to answer to.

He elongates, looks like
he could bite someone
even though he’s slobber-tongued
with the cat.

The girl lets him loose
for long nervous hours.
Her fingers tap her teacup,
she listens for a shot
or howl. She hopes
he listens too.

He is growing into his ears.
There are new sounds now:
leaf crunch, sheep bay,
the yip and bark of his own,
a song he always knew the words to.
Now there’s music too.

And in the chorus,
an awareness.
A memory of sudden noise
followed by sudden quiet.
Were the plains always so wide?

Now fearlessness becomes the memory.
He is fast-pawed, dart-eyed.
But yes, the trees were always falling.
When the twin shots killed
his parents, his ears were still
shut flat against his head.


Jamie said...

Oh, wow, better than I could ever have imagined, you poet in fiction writer's funky clothing! I love all the transformations taking place, and how the ears are the constant.

Cheryl said...

Thank you! I forget, sometimes, how much I like writing poetry.