by Carrie Sharp, 04/06/2020, Maple City, MI

Adult Category

6’ apart my neighbor and I trek the bohemian valley
every morning before solitary lunches
lunches we describe to each other
hers with canned salmon, black beans, boiled eggs
mine with quinoa, Brussel sprouts, balsamic vinegar

our children, parents, lovers
secure in cocoons
our love telegraphed
via Zoom, Facebook, Instagram

yesterday we found a dead coyote
by a barbed wire fence
corn stalks whispering goodbye
ribs poking through sedge and fur

we brace against the wind
spring snow
blustering CNN, Cuomo, NPR
trudge home

a dead coyote is a caution
native spirit shape that can shift
not to be crossed
or ignored

we will make an offering
carry a dead vole
wrap it with cedar sprigs
our woven prayer

we will raise our hands
to red wing black birds
hear our collective caw
thanking mother earth
for this numbered day