Interrupted Journey

Coyote pauses arching his head, surveying the blue meadow
Grey paws pad among morning glories, finding a fallen doe.
He halts his journey, cleaning himself as best as he can,
finding the small deer had recently died, wounded by man.

Coyote sets aside a rib, cleaning it on the starry grass;
Makes a valuable gift, polishes it, and hears magpie pass.
He invites the long-tailed one to share this good fortune
Eating and gossiping, the polished rib absorbs the sun.

Are you thirsty, he asks, did he have anything to barter?
Magpie explains that the Frog people govern all the water.
At the dam, they learn he has a valuable gift to trade
They discuss the amount and price, an agreement is made.

Coyote proceeds to drink the water putting one hand in
ready to scoop the earth aside, when he finishes drinkin'.
Coyote destroys the dam and water rushes by. To be fair,
he announces with a smile that water shall be everywhere.


Earle Thompson

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