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Coyote is Dead Near Exit 202 in Ohio

This morning the hens greeted me at the barn door,
clucking and pecking along, checking my bootlaces
for grain dust, while our four goats
cried from their pen in the corner, climbing the woven wire
gate, little beggars. It’s just past Full Peach Moon—
walking home on Christmas night,
I will see a shooting star.
Mars and Orion share a little patch of sky.
I’ll reckon you won’t believe what I’ve seen,
though I see it more every day—beauty lies
down in layers. I saw it perched in the Osage Orange
over the gob pile on Captina Creek. Coyote is dead.
Every evening I leave the goats
crying in the corner pen, the hens shuffling their knuckled toes
roost-ways into their coop. I’m glad I’m not the morning star,
living thirteen years in eight. I do recollect the snow.
I do stop along the interstate, not to bury Coyote, but to brush
my hand against his little stretched out paw.


Abby Chew spent a good many years in the Midwest but didn’t find a second dog until she moved to California, where she currently teaches English at Crossroads School. Her first book of poems, Discontinued Township Roads, is available where books are sold.

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