Monday, October 21, 2013

Mark Jarman: "Coyotes"

Is this world truly fallen? They say no.
For there's the new moon, there's the Milky Way,
There's the rattler with a wren's egg in its mouth,
And there's the panting rabbit they will eat.
They sing their wild hymn on the dark slope,
Reading the stars like notes of hilarious music.
Is this a fallen world? How could it be?

And yet we're crying over the stars again,
And over the uncertainty of death,
Which we suspect will divide us all forever.
I'm tired of those who broadcast their certainties,
Constantly on their cell phones to their redeemer.
Is this a fallen world? For them it is.
But there's that starlit burst of animal laughter.

The day has sent its fires scattering.
The night has risen from its burning bed.
Our tears are proof that love is meant for life
And for the living. And this chorus of praise,
Which the pet dogs of the neighborhood are answering
Nostalgically, invites our answer, too.
Is this a fallen world? How could it be?

"Coyotes" by Mark Jarman. Published in The Atlantic (May 2003).

Photography credit: "Howling Lesson," by Debbie DeCarlo (originally color).


1 comment :

  1. Wonderful. As a child living in the country I heard coyotes outside, "that starlit burst of animal laughter." Perfectly captured.


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