John Jenkinson


Border Patrol - For Tom Hawkins - Poem by John Jenkinson

But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born
among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself;
—Leviticus 19.34



Up from the bramble thicket the coyote strolled
Like a nimble god to the roadside’s gravel lip.
He wore a grizzled coat, but his eyes gleamed gold

In the sunset’s fire, and he sniffed the air with a controlled
Disregard for the passing cars. I’d watched him slip
Up from the bramble thicket. The coyote strolled

Through a dry corn patch and across a smaller fold
Of soy, where a runnel ran and he paused to sip.
He wore a grizzled coat, but his eyes gleamed. Gold

Flecked from his tongue. Boldly, he patrolled
His range, marking the stations of his trip
Up. From the bramble thicket, the coyote strolled

To the roadside’s edge where my rag-top Chevy rolled
To a stop as he waved me down with his black tail-tip.
He wore a grizzled coat, but his eyes gleamed gold

When I asked about his business, and he told
Me he was exercising citizenship
Up from the bramble thicket. The coyote strolled.
He wore a grizzled coat, but his eyes gleamed gold.

Topic(s) of this poem: america

Form: Villanelle


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, December 2, 2015



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