Prayer for Coyote

By Shirley Geok-lin Lim

Snatching fast fleeing bunnies,
Digging at shallow mole-holes,
Licking the dew-brushed bayberry
Branches when the creek bed molts
Into shattered baked clay ruts:
Mistress of opportunity,
Her whelps’ unceasing whimper cuts
Her, and she must dare where she
Cannot go—under the fence through
Damp colored ground. Ancestress,
Teach her to live when her dugs, milk-less,
Hang low; to pad, jaws and sinews
Strung, an old cat, caught in the daisies,
Across the creek, back to her babies.

Shirley Geok-lin Lim’s Crossing the Peninsula received the British Commonwealth Poetry Prize, first for a woman and Asian. She has 10 poetry collections, recently The Irreversible Sun, Ars Poetica for the Day, and Do You Live In? Her poems are published in Hudson Review, Feminist Studies, Virginia Quarterly Review, and more; featured by Bill Moyers, Tracey K. Smith’s Slowdown, and performed in Poetry Out Loud. Also by this poet: "California Skies" and "Social Distancing"