gritty stone coyotes

Whereas a bat flies into our fishing lines. He banks and casts a look back over his wing, not sure what he had run into. Bats can’t really cast a look, and bats not knowing what hit them until the moment’s gone do not a good metaphor make. But still, I sit in my fishing chair at Gritty Stone, thinking such sorry thoughts.

Across the channel, the coyotes in the foothills wait for pink skies to subside before crying out in long strung-out sobs. I’m sorry. You’re sorry. We’re sorry.

Last week the catfish ate the bloody bait off our hooks while we weren’t looking. This time, we are taking more care. Trying to be more thoughtful. We are fishing with shrimp, sure we will catch the catfish nibbling on our bait. But no. Nothing has been working out.

Whereas the bag of necessary cookies: tainted by a teenaged toad coated with fine soot from someone’s leftover campfire.

Whereas the can of necessary bug spray: forgotten on my kitchen table, twenty miles away.

Casting in the dark, we listen for the sound of bait and weight sinking into water. Instead, we hear the sound of our tackle landing (again and again) on the far shore. Stop. Stop with the overcasting.

Likely, the forecasted northern lights won’t appear either. Everyone in town has been buzzing about tonight’s possible light show. But how will we see the light show? What with the harvest moon shining so strongly behind us. I cast a look over my shoulder to make sure it isn’t a truck’s headlight causing our shadows to land so far out upon the sleepy channel water.

Whereas I glower at the moon.

Would someone please turn that moon off? Or spin it the other way?

The coyotes laugh with us, closer now to the water. Long strands of haw-hehawing. You are being ridiculous. I was being ridiculous.

Whereas we are over being sorry.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website:

7 responses to “gritty stone coyotes

  1. bait and weight, wait: no sorry at all

  2. i am a moon hound, sherry. the bats, the bait, the catfish (bloody catfish), i see them in your words. i feel the other bank of the river – soft foot sinking mud – and the weight of the tackle. but when that moon comes up i see it too, and am happy that it blots everything else out, bleeds its sallow light and steals the thunder from the northern lights. the coyotes are laughing at all of us. thank goddess for that.

  3. Rose Hunter

    Bats not knowing what hit them until the moment’s gone, being like people in that way…. I think it’s an all right metaphor. I like bats. I don’t like toads so much, but don’t know any teenaged ones, specifically. They’re too coy to share their ages with me, but they’re too big here to be teenagers. I think….
    I like this post. It’s very sad though. I’m sorry nothing has been working out.
    Hmm, stop with the overcasting, huh.

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