Perhaps it’s only those
who pay attention
– Linda M. Hasselstrom (“Coyote Song”)
“He looks, but just don’t see,”
Tom Homer’d tell of a part-time cowboy
when my father learned the mantra
of established cowmen after brandings,
when the work was done.
I heard it often.
Out here, one can lollygag himself
to death, early on—before he sees
the snake in the trail, before he sees
the coyote watching him.
Deaf to the gun but only once,
we improve the breed,
fine tune scent and sight
into long lives of good teachers—
always a coyote’s song.