Soft conversation seeps through walls.
Subtle chirps in front of the open window,
sotto voce, as if my feathered friends were afraid to scare this new day off with too much noise.
Snake-like, a sliver of dim light has escaped the folds of the curtain and creeps along the floor.
Time to get up, sleepy head!
One more stretch in slow motion, embracing every inch of my reach,
I swing both feet out of bed.
Bare soles are caressed by carpet loops.
I sit there for some seconds.
My mind is already creating the daily checklist.
Watch out, coyote is on the prowl!
Following the scent of coffee towards the kitchen,
I catch a glimpse of Puppy.
Head erected in anticipation, tail vigorously wagging, patiently waiting to be acknowledged.
Not one sound leaves his throat.
His eyes beg me to come over to pet him, or take him for a walk.
I smile, I sigh and tell him: “In a bit, not now!”
Watch out, coyote is lurking!
Morning chaos in the kitchen until the door closes behind my family.
I notice Puppy through the door ajar.
Resigned, his chin flat on the floor, between his thick paws.
His eyes pierce mine. They look so sad, so longing.
My heart sinks, I have to resist this look!
Chores are piling up!
“In a bit, not now!” I tell myself and walk away from these begging eyes.
Watch out, coyote is approaching!
A brief meditation to tame my mind.
Morning chores, a shower.
Puppy doesn’t move, his restraint and patience are out of this world.
Only his eyes betray his stoic attitude.
I feel guilty, but …
… there are so many responsibilities that have to come first!
Do they, really?
Watch out, coyote is closing in!
The PC jumps to life, mail needs my attention.
A phone call interrupts my mental focus.
There are bills to pay, a letter to mail.
“Sorry, Puppy, this will take a while!”
Wide open eyes out of a slightly tilted, erected head. My heart sinks.
I have to disappoint him again.
This is more important! I remind myself and take the car keys.
“Later, buddy!” and the door closes shut.
Can’t you feel coyote’s breath yet?
Leaving the post office,
I feel a cool breeze toying with my hair.
Tennis shoes on my feet, temptation calls.
I am half-way out of town anyway …
Why go back home to take care of Puppy first?
He will nap until I return.
Coyote jumps. His jaws grab my calf. Hard,
unforgiving. They lock like a pit bull’s.
I drive to one of my favorite hiking spots.
Sacred grounds on a wide open prairie.
A white-speckled bluish tent spreads overhead.
My steps are light, yet brisk.
Lost in the moment, my attention is drawn to the uproar of sirens.
Fire engines, ambulance, police responding to an urgency nearby.
From deep inside the prairie, my ears catch another spine-tingling sound:
howls of coyotes. The piercing sirens force them to give away their hiding spots.
My initial amusement turns into guilt: the howl of the coyotes reminds me of Puppy.
He might be howling for me to come back and live up to my promise.
My gait changes gears, my drive back home breaks speed limits.
I open the door.
A wagging tail and sparkling eyes full of anticipation await me.
I see nothing else.
And I begin to write.
About the author
Anja Kerstin Kuentzel,
Advanced Grief Recovery Method specialist, nature lover, photographer, and bilingual wordsmith combines her passions to offer a different perspective on life that might inspire, raise awareness or even heal.