The first time I saw her
she was hugging the boundary of my yard
slipping in and out of the crevices of trees.
She stayed just for a minute
and then went on her way.
Over time, the coyote showed up more often
and stayed a little longer.
She would glide across the lawn
and cast a glance at me
through the kitchen window.
A Navajo warning loomed:
“If a coyote crosses your path,
turn back, do not continue your journey.”
I began to fear she might cross MY path.
Soon, she started pacing in the driveway.
It was winter.
She left tracks in the snow
I won’t forget that day she crossed
in front of me as I pulled into the driveway.
I heard the chorus of native voices:
“The skin-walker will never leave you.”
Plans pierced by her pointed muzzle
Hope suffocated by her long bushy tail.
Fear born of her hefty cheek teeth,
I saw the greed in her eyes.
These days, she’s grown bolder,
often patrolling near my back porch.
I try to ignore her,
but I know she is there.
I keep my door locked.
Used by permission of the author.