Two Different Things

A coyote paces the enclosure
his eyes looking toward the hills.
His paws had been stung by barbed wire
broken glass
until the pads were cracked and bloodied.
You brought him fresh water
healed his cuts
and now you say you love him.

While he paces that enclosure
you cannot be free.
Part of his beauty is the dream in his eyes
of distant places.
Whatever is human feels the need
to possess that
to tame that
to say: Mine.
if only for a moment, then let go.
He might come back
depending less on gratitude and love
than nostalgia for old places
a familiar voice.

In the meantime there's you on one side
him on the other
wanting two different things.
Something in you wishes he could be free
with your fence still around him.
something in him will pull and tug
long after he leaves your hills.

"Two Different Things" © copyright 1996, 1997, 1998.
From Imperfect Geographies (Q-Trips, 1998).