LA Sunday Morning

it was 8:30 and the LA streets were empty,
the air
everywhere there were flowers–in the trees, in gardens, on the hedges–tulips, daffodils, begonias, ,
colors everywhere and birds singing.
loping easily and proud
right down the centerline of Montana Street,
is a coyote-
thick coated and beautiful, still wild,
casually self-assured that
he belongs here,
was here way before any of us–
he came by me as I walked-,
came closer than any coyote I’ve ever seen before
in the desert
or the Rockies
Doesn’t he realize this is Los Angeles?
Does he care?
I was thrilled.
I saw a golden eagle circling above the palm trees
and I followed every street to the end,
In a cul-de-sac high above a wooded canyon
I find a home abandoned to the wild oat grasses
the paint is peeling and the shades on the windows
have cracked, dissolved into a kind of ancient lace
I look inside and there’s a coffee pot,
a sauce pan on the stove
then a very, very old woman moves her wrinkled hand into view,

As she stirs her breakfast porridge,
I imagine a whole life spent here,
spent at first in a home
once freshly painted white
children in the yard,
gambolling through the daffodils,
swinging into cherry blossom springtimes
so many years ago

all so very long ago, she remembers
as she moves the kettle from the flame

Her hand shakes but she is well enough
and the sun streams in her window
overlooking no longer the high rises of downtown LA
but simply a tangled desert canyon,
with coyotes down the road.






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