One time from a blind watching sandhill cranes
we spotted something not a bird saunter
out from dark covert of blackberry canes,
coyote all lean-legged and cocksure,
then two more, stretching, yawning, shaking rain
from their yellow eyes, their yellow-brown fur
before setting off at an easy jog
across the wheat stubble, wading plumes of fog.
We watched them skirt the marsh, so negligent,
ignoring the cranes and the goldeneye—
stopping to smell old scat, examine bent
stems of yarrow, crouch to satisfy
an itch. Watching hard, we missed the moment
their hunt began, the artful dodge, the sigh
of yellow-brown grass. Death comes just that way:
the casual approach, then the endgame.
Molly Gloss, 2007
This poem strives mightily toward a form called ottava rima: eight line stanzas, iambic pentameter, rhyming abababcc.