MICHELLE Y. BURKE
Yesterday, a coyote sprinted
through my front lawn.
I thought it someone’s lost dog.
Tomorrow, something larger will come.
It will come like a snowplow,
heavily horse-powered and muffled
by what it shunts aside.
There will be lights.
They will shine in through windows,
spotlighting intimate, tender moments—
a mother halving blueberries
for her infant son, a man
smearing ointment across his mother’s back.
The way in which
the I-thought-dog made its wildness
known was the way it ran straight ahead,
not looking for or needing anyone.
Not lost but alone.
but hungry nonetheless.
Michelle Y. Burke is the author of the poetry collection Animal Purpose, winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, and the poetry chapbook Horse Loquela, winner of the Red Mountain Review Chapbook Series Award. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry, Hopkins Review, Lake Effect, and other publications. She has received poetry prizes from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund, the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, and the American Literary Review, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center. She teaches creative writing at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.