Coyote Woman Buys Peaches by Erica Sternin

Photo: SARE Outreach

Photo: SARE Outreach

From the parking lot I see the lady at the fruit stand

Has a thick coyote tail.

She discusses peaches, asking which is the juiciest.

The tawny tail bobs slightly with anticipation.

Farmer fingers, scrubbed for Market Day ,

Select a soft-fleshed fruit and

Presses it, testing for bad spots.

Moisture gathers under her tongue, not quite lolling,

And she sniffs its lightly furred skin.

The tail rises, semi-erect and points directly at me,

Clutching my scarred chest behind the steering wheel.

She slowly plucks coins from her purse, the farmer waiting,

Tail like an arrow, letting me know,

I’m marked.

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