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. Linden Lane
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THE COYOTE

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by Paul Muldoon

Veering down the track like a girl veering down a cobbled street
in the meat-packing district,
high heels from the night before, black shawl of black-tipped hairs,

steering clear of that fluorescent ring
spray-painted on an even stretch of blacktop
like a ring in which we might once have played keepsies,

veering down the track without the slightest acknowledgement from Angus,
the dog lying in a heap on our porch
like a heap of clothes lying beside a bed,

Angus who had himself been found wandering by the highway
somewhere on the far side of Lake Champlain,
slubber-furred, slammerkin, backbone showing through,

and, though we didn't know it when we brought him home,
blind in one eye, the right one,
the one between him and the coyote,

the cloudy, flaw-fleckered marble of that eye
now turning on you and me,
taking in the spray-painted ring where you and I knuckle down.

 

Paul Muldoon is a chaired professor in the humanities department at Princeton University. His collection Moy Sand and Gravel won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2003. Muldoon read from his poetry at Boston College when he delivered a talk as part of the Lowell/Humanities Lecture series on November 20, 2003.


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