Thursday, April 21, 2016

National Poetry Month--Appointment with Coyote

I must confess I’ve always had a fascination with the bad boy in literature, TV, and film.  I know it’s not healthy, but judging by the sheer number of bad boys in fairy tales, literature, movies, and television, it must be pretty common.

I have been fortunate enough to have been married to two of the nicest men in the world, my late first husband and my current husband, but before and between them, I had the most lamentable taste in men. I blame it on all the reading I did as a child. The bad boys were always the most interesting guys. 

All this may explain why, over the years, I've written such a number of Coyote poems, and why they seem to form a narrative arc.


Coyote showers, shaves, slathers musk
when he knows he will see her. On Wednesdays,
ten is a sacred hour.
He always wears something new
when she comes for her appointment
to see if she will notice.
Nights fill with Wednesday
morning dreams,
but the empty days go on—
all but hers, when he becomes
for fifty minutes
strange, compelling
beast, sexual being.
Coyote sees it in her eyes, the way she draws
unconsciously near, the sudden aware
jerk backwards
that must have been the apple’s
consequence in Eden.

The things he could make her feel, she fears.

This morning her old car refuses
to start. Coyote drives her home,
thighs one hand apart. Filling the air
with her fragrance, she pretends
nothing joins them. Coyote fears
losing control in the sleet
and sliding into some fiery collision
before he reaches her door,
then races skidding away in the ice.

Tomorrow, her husband will buy her a battery.

Published in Heart’s Migration (Tia Chucha Press, 2009)


  1. This coyote is so real I dare not speak of him. As I read I see how brave you are.

  2. Thank you, Reine! I see you have experience of Coyote also.

  3. Ah, the bad boys . . . in my Shakespeare class, I said not to feel too superior to the besotted, as we will all at some point fall foolishly in love. "Even you, Miss Garrett?" Yes . . . I remember a friend telling her husband, "We have to find a NICE guy for Mary." I love that in this one, Coyote almost gets caught in the web.

  4. I think that's why these poems resonate so much with women. So many of us have had experiences with versions of the bad boy.