by Ellen Wade Beals
On Christmas a coyote came to our fence
and ever since my dog has been visited
by dreams of running with the pack,
almost able to catch up but never quite there,
lagging, and so her back legs push off
as she sleeps in her bed, her eyes squint
as if to see between the pickets,
beyond the slats shadowed on the ground.
She wants to stalk the ducks in the creek,
no leash tugging like a conscience, to tip over
garbage cans or to rustle among the leaves
for mice, to see the moon and call to it.
Cookies, I shake the box, her reward for coming in
but she skulks along the fence, desperate for any scent,
any sense that she could follow, could still catch up.