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Carol Ann Lindsay

Carol Ann Lindsay I Hear The Coyotes Cry Again

The savage, passing the house in the dark
knowing this is the night for garbage cans,
has no fear but I shake from his stalking walk
and wonder if rabbits are awake. Candice
would probably lure him to her, the way
she could nurse and love frogs or kangaroo rats.
She didn't hate animals in the canyon
who devoured pets. She said, "We took away
their food. We stole their land. What
would you do without a grocery store?"

There was wisdom in her words and art.
She drew perfect pictures of birds and
wolves that hang silent on the wall.
She would draw this vagabond coyote,
but not before guarding the wild one
in search of prey. I watch the head bob,
thinking how worried I'd be if
Candice were here now. I close the door
and tears come for my girl who died too young.

Like the animal cast from his home,
I'm hunting for life when
I hear the coyotes cry again.

For My Girl Who Died Too Young
Candice Andromeda Lindsay
September 5, 1980-May 22, 1997

by carol ann lindsay

I save my tears when they say
your body mangled in a car wreck
may not breathe tomorrow,
because you are a survivor. Then,
I let masked men take you
into the polished cathedral,
for expensive tatoos that run
from your throat all the way down.
You would savor the crooked design
conceived in a season cursed
with sleepless nights, sterile smells,
and "code blue" bells.


I watch the bed waiting,
(on the day of the Spring equinox,
when our hills are green
from winter rain) and expect
you, my miracle child,
to wake up and say, "surprise."
Each second is eternity
as time ticks minutes full
of acid pain that is
fertilized with reality
when I learn what you knew
about the brain, that it's the hard drive
for the mind, which is the software
for the soul, which is the user.


I can't see the sun through fog
that devours me. I can't sense time
because dreams feast on
phantom flashes of life
while your body sleeps.
Everything you did
is sealed like sweet and sticky sap
to the marrow of my soul.
Everything you said
is caged in my mind
as I try to make the past real
when it isn't, try to make yesterday
alive, though it's fading with your flesh.


I think about what I'll give you -
the diamond necklace your father gave
me, crystal glasses in the china closet,
and my mother's silver star ring
that you took from my dresser
last year. But I feel you over me,
laughing, and know it's ridiculous
to think of these things
when you aren't really dying, just
changing spaces the way salmon swim
and find the sea before returning upstream
to spawn and start the cycle of life again.


My tears grow fierce like a desert storm
the second your spirit is free. I am weak
from the poisonous plague
that steals a slice of my soul
with creation's climax.


The way we were and the way it
was with you, my blue-eyed blond,
lives as a brief breath in eternity
now that you are gone.


Today, I envy ten years ago,
when life hungered for
free space and future.
If I could only stand in the rain
and let it rinse away this swollen Spring,
I would surrender to the miracles
of incarnated days when there wasn't time.
I would capture every second and
I wouldn't think about tomorrow
or dust and dirty dishes. I would choke
life with love and learn each one
of those dumb blond jokes you told me.


From your room I hear
coyotes whine under a full moon
and remember Felix, your cat,
disappeared so that
coyotes could celebrate lunch.
I see night decorated
with empty shadows looming
over your marble Buddha
and Nirvana poster.
I wonder if your last words to me,
"I love you, too," will fade
with the dress I caress.
I feel the hollow spot
and close the door to a living tomb
that silently sears
---my heart forever.

Copyright © 1999. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Duplication of this poetry and/or art without permission of the author/artist is forbidden under copyright law. Please ask permission if you wish to use for non-commercial purposes
  Big Cats in Snow Tuesday, July 11, 2000