I was walking down the stairs
late last night
when a coyote,
shrouded in leafy shadows,
punctured the nighttime quietude
with a single, startling howl.
Then, the rest of the pack joined in
with shrieking howls and ravaging barks.
A kamikaze of ghoulish noise
tore into the silence and shredded it.
Little did they know they had jolted me
into wide-eyed awe and frozen fright.
Their raucous revelry reverberated within me
as well as crowded around me.
Dark sounds pressing in
They came and went
as quickly as the thundering force
of a summertime storm
mended and seamless.
I was still standing there
upon the steps
electrified and breathless
legs wobbling, left hand hooked
around the chilled, black banister.
Smiling and savoring the taste
of their undaunted wild ways
like a mouthful of sunshine
melting toffee upon my tongue.
- Lauren Taub Cohen