mark trechock

eating in the presence of coyotes


We roared in,
trailing our scent of chemicals,
snarled at our competitors,
stalked and overtook a table,
swept away plastic potato chip bags,
took turns peeing into the cesspool
with its hint of perfume,
ripped open a tin of fish
pickled by some poor slob
who wasn’t on vacation like us,
hunched over it and glared out,
daring someone to disturb us.

There were four;
they outnumbered us but kept back,
slinking behind a perimeter of pines,
looking out as though through a cage.

Glutted and on the road
I pictured a snout sniffing
and pushing that herring tin
along the developed emptiness
that led to the john,
and also the eyes of the scavenger,
always on the lookout,
just like mine.

mark trechock writes from Dickinson, North Dakota, where he worked for many years as a rural community organizer. His poems have appeared recently in such magazines as Evening Street Review, Drunk Monkeys and High Desert Journal.