Coyotes connect beneath a Harvest Moon risen
to make light of night shadows, young yip solos
rush into choruses that pull at dog hearts at work—

MPs on patrol, to join them. The wet stinking green
of your jungle war, I think of you often now, pushing
sod at home forever wounded, a momentary flash

of flesh the earth is absorbing, you could not end it—
not even with poetry, though we tried and cried
over miles of lines and poles to your barricade

of stacked straw bales, trailer camped alone
in snow, to dig your way out with words—
with cowboy metaphors for a broken heart.

You see, my friend, it has become a business
advertising fear enough to make us cower
to power and profit, the ultimate redeemer,

the sanctification we endorse to be left alone
with all our hungers satisfied, give or take
a life or two of the fifty-seven thousand—

not the Western adventure for a young Marine
hero. Coyotes connect beneath a Harvest Moon
risen to make light of night shadows before dawn.

                                                                        for Rod


4 responses to “BEFORE DAWN

  1. Pretty heavy, John. I knew who this poem was about by the fourth line. I think of him often. Every day, as a matter of fact. Bill

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We too hear the wild things’ mournful yowls in the night and wonder what it is they grieve . . . Perhaps it is us! Well done, John. Most thought provoking . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. poem of lasting strength


  4. YOW! Really heavy atmosphere and heavy heart revealed here.


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