Oh, Unreadable One, why   
have you done this to your dumb creature?   
Why have you chosen to punish the coyote   

rummaging for chicken bones in the dung heap,   
shucked the fur from his tail   
and fashioned it into a scabby cane?   

Why have you denuded his face,   
tufted it, so that when he turns he looks   
like a slow child unhinging his face in a smile?   

The coyote shambles, crow-hops, keeps his head low,   
and without fur, his now visible pizzle   
is a sad red protuberance,   

his hind legs the backward image   
of a bandy-legged grandfather, stripped.   
Why have you unhoused this wretch   

from his one aesthetic virtue,   
taken from him that which kept him   
from burning in the sun like a man?   

Why have you pushed him from his world into mine,   
stopped him there and turned his ear   
toward my warning shout?

  • Source: Poetry (March 2009)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I learned to enjoy older poems. At first, I hated the requirement that I had to choose a poem that was pre-20th century. However, as time went by, I began to enjoy the poems more and more. My favorite pre-20th century poet is now Emily Bronte. "
Eseme Segbefia
2018 NY POL Champ