Arrival of Parkinson’s

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
and scat.


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.

Tara Broderick

Tara was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014. Post retirement from an executive role with Planned Parenthood, she pursued certification ...more