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Urban Coyote

See the coyote over there?
I asked the woman, who stopped
to watch us watching the coyote
nosing its sore-footed way
through freshly mowed park lawn,
for the moment paying no attention
whatsoever to the fact it had
metamorphosed from wary scavenger
to topic of conversation,
that despite the animal’s casual
ignoring of us, we were
the ones on full alert.

I see it most mornings,
the woman added,
and it does
the same thing – just trots along
and sniffs like a dog
on its daily rounds.

I thought of my usual mental image:
el coyote picking its cautious way
amid deserty spines and stones,
nosing with the care
and learned reflexes
the desert imposes on creatures.

Meanwhile el coyote pounced upon
something in the lush grass
alongside a dense shrub thicket
and in a quick flash of jaws and teeth
dispatched and ate whatever
Nature provided for breakfast.

© Glen Sorestad
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Photo Credit:

 Coyotes are thriving in many cities around the continent, including Saskatoon.  Photo © Derek R. Audette, Portland Monthly

Did you know ..

University of Saskatchewan graduate student Katie Harris has set up a series of wildlife cameras throughout Saskatoon to find out more about the animals that live alongside us. She has discovered that coyotes generally prefer areas on the margins of the city, including the Swales. In the mean streets of the city, they are replaced by their smaller canine cousins, red foxes. Glen’s coyote acquaintance had not read Katie’s report.

Author: Glen Sorestad

Glen Sorestad has lived in Saskatoon now for over fifty years and spends much of his time marveling at the diversity of flora and fauna to be found in this growing city. His longtime love of the natural world has led him to write many poems, stories and essays about his daily observations as a regular walker. His poems published are included in over twenty of his volumes, more than seventy anthologies, and have been translated into eight languages. His latest book of poems is Selected Poems from Dancing Birches, a bilingual English/Italian book published in Italy in 2020. More here